La Verrière
Hermes Foundation’s Brussels art space
19 JANUARY – 31 MARCH 2018
Curator: Guillaume Désanges
Ballistic Poetry Season

Jean-Luc Moulène (b.1955, living and working in Paris), is the latest artist invited by curator Guillaume Désanges to take part in the Ballistic Poetry series, presenting an ensemble of new, concrete, terrestrial works, both in motion and subject to the force of gravity, within the space of La Verrière.

‘For more than twenty years, Jean-Luc Moulène has developed a complex body of work, both analytical and mysterious, of which photography has long constituted the most visible and best-known part. From the Disjunctions—a series of seemingly banal, frequently urban images that function as indeterminate topographical references at the heart of the real world—to the celebrated Objets de grève (‘Strike objects’: product shots of industrial artefacts made by striking workers, subverting the tools of their trade), Moulène’s photographs are strikingly raw, cruel and uncompromising, but always secretly metaphorical.

Drawings and sculptural objects have always played a part in his work, but both have assumed greater importance in recent years, superseding photography to become the chief component of Moulène’s most recent, large-scale exhibitions, though the essential spirit driving his distinctive oeuvre remains unchanged. Moulène’s works explore the question of representation in his chosen media, while at the same time drawing on their essential physicality and materiality to engage tirelessly with political, social and ontological issues ‘made flesh’—notably through the concept of ‘transaction’, an economically and sensitively charged term applied to the ongoing transaction between the imagination and reality.

As the latest guest artist in the series ‘Ballistic Poetry’, Jean-Luc Moulène presents a new work created specifically for the space at La Verrière. Organic paintings in a mix of oil and tar feature alongside strange, eminently ‘ballistic’ figures produced by a natural process: the decomposition of fungi on paper. Photographs and sculptures complete the ensemble. Mobile mirrors offer a furtive, complementary perspective on the installation as a whole. The precise positioning of these images, disrupted by their own endlessly re-programmed reflections, does not seek to generate meaning, but on the contrary to explore the essential notion of the “subject” in negative, through its mutation into “object”, and its resistance to interpretation.’


Guillaume Désanges



Left: Jean-Luc Moulène, Sous-chromes 13, 2017
Oil painting on tar, on board, 55 × 46 × 2 cm
Photo: Émile Ouroumov, 2017
Courtesy Galerie Greta Meert
© Jean-Luc Moulène / ADAGP Paris 2017

Right: Jean-Luc Moulène, Sous-chromes 9, 2017
Oil painting on tar, on board, 38 × 46 × 2 cm
Photo: Émile Ouroumov, 2017
Courtesy Galerie Greta Meert
© Jean-Luc Moulène / ADAGP Paris 2017