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Sylvie Fleury

To Be Titled, 2006
fibreglass, metallic paint
110.0 x 80.0 cm
With To Be Titled, Sylvie Fleury leads us on a trip through Alice’s wonderland garden when mushrooms from dripping forests are suddenly transformed by an unexpected leap in scale. Now grown to the point of exceeding our human size, frozen in place, imprisoned behind a speckled glossy paint and its psychedelic connotations, the mushrooms depict the magical dreamlike world of an artist who thoroughly masters her codes and shows a fondness for scrambling semantic fields. Both poisonous and enchanting, these organisms – whose growth, provoked by lunar cycles, remains a mystery – are invested with real glamour in Fleury’s hands.

Her mushrooms exist at the point where children’s stories meet adult playthings, a hybridisation between the natural and the artificial, the familiar and the strange, dressed in light to better entice viewers. The gloss paint covering them like a lavish makeup is directly borrowed from an automotive context. It is a so-called “chameleon” paint that allows users to get all the variations of colour they want to personalise their vehicle.

Here and in all her work, Fleury embraces the logic and procedures of customising, the act of singularising anonymous products through personal additions. Like groups of motorcyclists and car owners who gather round their machines, our collectible car enthusiast customises objets d’art according to various processes, blazing a trail between the aesthetic sphere and cultural practices that are nothing like it, and questioning in this manner the status of the object according to its context. With this cosmetological transformation of a vegetal form, Fleury draws us into a sumptuous, dazzling, occasionally hallucinatory elsewhere and we aren’t certain whether we shall come out of it enchanted or disoriented.
Sylvie Fleury, To Be Titled, 2006