“Call any vegetable Call it by name
Aw, you gotta call one today
When you get off the train
Call any vegetable
And the chances are good
WOW! That the vegetable will RESPOND to you”
– Frank Zappa
Text by Atelier Pica Pica edited by Jesper Elg.
1. On Soft Cell
For this group of paintings, we replaced ourselves into a trio functional mode.
Each of those paintings represent a consensus, the withholding into a sequence of acts of painting reflecting a trialogue.
They are the occasion for each of us to test, assert or confront points of vue (our respective references) and painting or drawing acts.
As in a card game, each one respond to an action (or intention of act) by a new demonstration asserting or hustling the precedent one. The challenge being to « build » an image linked to a « proto-idea » of interpretation.
To link the title, Soft Cell, to the series of painting, we could say each one of them represent a place (locus) or a room (physical, the frame, and abstract, the debate) inside which we literally confine ourselves sometimes (painting can be heady…) like monks in their cells.
At convent San Marco in Firenze, Fra Angelico painted a group of frescoes inside cells and corridors to assist and guide the Franciscan monks in their faith. With a window (most of the time pretty narrow), a stark bed and simple cabinet (sometimes), these are the only material supports they have to dive into their meditations.
We like to imagine that in our studio-ish reclusion each one of our propositions act as a lever, a backing to our attention in our exchanges. Like we guess Fra Angelico’s paintings were for the monks.
2. On process
The role/state of each of us is mutating from director to executor depending on the individual reading happening during the process of the images construction. Dead ends for some, will hit someone else as a path to explore.
Some « visions » can provide as well drastic transformations (large erasing, new colour schemes, change of subject, power lines..) or smoother settings (objects definitions, small elements to add or suppress, focusing on some details..).
This permanent conversation between us about the work under process stimulate group energy and activate ourselves to lead or follow instructions, during a moment, to reach the next phase of the painting. Debating about how, when and why images are finish or not is a passionate psychic trip where we love to take ourselves together.
3. On drawings
Drawings are from a moment where each of us are involved in a personal research and individual investigation of random things such as colouring, designs, form and representations. Things are getting together when a certain volume of production is reached and a selection can be operated. The drawings help develop new paths to language or resources. While the paintings are the result of animated discussions, the drawings are small windows into each of our brains.
4. On sculpture
The sculptures evoke pieces of furniture, seating objects. They induce a room, a relation between the outside and inside, they propose points of views.
Atelier Pica Pica is a Belgian based multidisciplinary artist collective consisting of Boris Magotteaux (b.1978), Manuel Falcata, (b.1979) and Jerome Degive (b.1980). The band have worked together since 1999 first as ERS Collective and as Atelier Pica Pica since 2007.