The works of Baptiste Charneux and Benjamin Tejero united in Overflows, seem to strive towards capturing an impression of water. If the title suggests abudance, water is in fact scarce : whether latent, about to be poured, or evaporated, or even stagnant. Water is certainly present, but does not flow, and yet it is this flux which underlies the whole of the artists’ exhibition.
The excess of overflow is not translated quantitatively but by the excess in the conditions of water, with at its core its infinite power for delimitation . In this way, the artists push their viewer from one bank to another, along a river of light.
According to the poet Francis Ponge, water is that which seeks always to go lower, which never ceases its search for the lowest, demeaning itself. Water is also the underground, chthonian, current which generates infexion and slippage : the oblique gaze engraved in glass by Benjamin, the scopic urge of an eye searching inside a jar and finding, in the work of Baptiste, a tautology of two superimposed volumes, or ceramics with futed edges.
We wash ourselves where we soil (the bathroom), we unwind where we suffocate (in the steam), we enhance functional furniture with glorious appendices (the bathroom furniture). The subtle and narcissistic violence of our relation to our image is caught by Benjamin and Baptiste, who transcribe it in their use of materials which is both precise and vulnerable, original and sophisticated.
Overflow indicates a breach, and water (in addition to its tendency to flow downwards), is indeed characterizied by its power of intrusion: from conquering foods to water-drop erosion.
“Overflow” is an anomalie of the waterway; a challenge to mesure and drying. The impossibility of containing (and the outpouring which ensues) unites the works of Benjamin and Baptiste, produced conjointly.To contain implies a fixed, definitive form, yet the clay jars have not been fired.
As for the screens, they are engraved with elaborate patterns which hint at the erotic, or the organic nature of hair pressed against the glass.
From the motif of water and pool, present in the exhibition, emerges that of the body, of the temptation to form one body , by portraying a roundness which refuses to « be the object » in order to fuse with the surrounding space, or by depicting seduction, and the nature at once perfect and imperfect of an encounter with oneself and with another.
Text by Anne-Claire Barriga
Translated to English by Maria Giovanni