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Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille

«Bianco Bichon, Nero Madonna, e altre distruzioni liriche» (solo show)
Fondation d'entreprise Ricard, Paris
23 May - 1 July 2017

Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille, Lovely Bettie (Love Paintings), 2017, Oil on cut wood panel, 170 x 128 x 5cm. Courtesy the artists and Fondation d'entreprise Ricard
Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille, Lovely Bettie (Love Paintings), 2017, Oil on cut wood panel, 170 x 128 x 5cm. Courtesy the artists and Fondation d'entreprise Ricard

Everything started at the beginning of the 2000s through an accumulation process and an empirical practice in the studio, and yet for Tursic and Mille, doing is primarily a matter of thinking, defining how they produce and think in painting.

In reference to the lecture that concluded Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s 1960-61 course at Collège de France, the artists define this as a true love letter addressed to painting. More particularly, the primacy of perception1 asserted in the French philosopher’s phenomenology seems to have become the everyday material of the artists’ work in the studio, both in their exploration of a language that gets redefined every time in the very act of formulating a new thought, and also in the dynamic relationship between everything that gives rise to their work: consciousness, the world, history and their interpersonal relations. An art of doing (with their hands) and thinking (with their heads). And a kind of painting, which also raises the question of how two people can paint together, with the superimpositions, interpenetrations, complementarities and contradictions that follow from a constitutive division in two. It is a question of proximity, and therefore of reaction, desire: “The fact of having two heads and two right hands can prove very useful, in many situations!”

So it is a theoretical painting practice that determines what must be done through the very fact of thinking of how to do it, accommodating a wide spectrum of possibilities continuously presented by this decision process, which is constantly opened and solicited. By mainly reproducing found images, the question is not “this OR that”, but rather “this AND that”, according to a principle of critical accumulation (discussed and judged case-by-case) and perpetual motion. This means that Tursic and Mille’s paintings do not reflect a particular style, and that they are neither abstract nor figurative, but are at most both at the same time; because every style and every subject is “within reach” as they themselves assert, since: “panting cannot be a gesture set in stone and filed like patent. It must be open to all the propositions its practice generates; painting must be opportunistic and self-conscious.”

Fondation d'entreprise Ricard, Paris