Armand Jalut’s recent paintings are characterized by the inclusion of machines, manufacturing tools that are telescoped with organic elements, often edible: a slice of grapefruit (CLASS FW600), fried eggs (CLASS W664UT), a bunch of bananas (CLASS VFK2560) or a coconut (CLASS SD62DRY). The mechanical objects are combined with foodstuffs painted in alluring colors, partially interlocked between foreground and background. The compositions, in a floating perspective, are set against plain-colored or striped backgrounds. Less typically, one of the works features two seagulls (CLASS FW603). If the angularity of the two birds, resembling car hood ornaments, clashes with the biomorphism of the machine, their feather-covered forms seem to be chosen solely for their frontality, simultaneously curious and authoritarian.

In choosing, in conjunction with Les Abattoirs Frac-Midi-Pyrénées, to produce a hybrid work, a catalogue/disc, for his exhibition “The Secretary Blouse”, Armand Jalut shows how a soundtrack can be relevant to the appreciation of his paintings. The hypothesis of this text, preface to a musical and critical object, is that it is not intended to be an accompaniment. Like the written contributions here by Julien Fronsacq, the four pieces by Nicolas Dubosc are a commentary on the paintings, an extension or a description such as a text might provide. The strangeness of the mechanical ballet depicted in Jalut’s paintings lies more in the organic arrangement of the machines than in a rational and engineered vision of the world: the banana that grows in the machine, its sweet, tropical scent becoming encrusted on the cold steel; the seagull’s eye with its human character, that of instinctive and animal urges.

The works recorded on this vinyl disc are similarly combined and interlocked. Their composition and execution emerged through dialogue with the artist. If they had been intended as a “catalogue text”, the form would have been that of an interview. They convey the same mood of domestic and ironic exoticism as is present in Armand Jalut’s paintings. Their absence of narrative is modern, but they hint at endless fragments of possible stories. They have the colors and tints of a song of a humanized machine, an artificial pop song creating a sense of. The colors feel retro but dateless, like that impersonal but charming decorative cliché, the pussy bow tied at the neck of the “Secretary Blouse”.

Olivier Michelon

LP - Book copublished with Les Abattoirs, Frac Midi-Pyrénées.

August 2014
  • English
  • French
  • deValence
310mm × 310mm
8 pages