The titles of Antoine Palmier-Reynaud’s works provide promising narrative introductions in and of themselves. Le désespoir des singes [The despair of monkeys], Où est ma licorne? [Where is my unicorn?], Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Mordre au citron d’or de l’idéal amer [Biting into the golden lemon of bitter ideals] are some of the most memorable episodes that punctuate the work of an artist who studied not only fine arts in Lyon and Valence, but also sociology, and now works between the French capital and Bangkok, with a few excursions to Spain – as if the artist were following in the tracks of a kind of geography à la Houellebecq, a writer with whom he shares an interest in consumer culture, the melancholy of megalopolises, tertiary society and cheap sunsets.
However, this is as far as the comparison goes. A closer, more playful kinship may perhaps be found in the sunny and baroque illuminations of Richard Brautigan. Inspired by the popular American self-help book, which gets its name from the famously invigorating chicken broth, the series Chicken Soup for the Soul converts “this cheap spiritual contents into sculptural energy”. It combines a group of pieces made out of both noble and lower-end materials, which are as many nods to the diverse, contradictory and oh-so-modern experiences (Zen studies, wellness tourism and armchair spirituality) that are sought after in Asia, but nowadays express a universal and shallow attempt to reconnect with our inner selves. […]
Excerpt from Claire Moulène’s text for the 64th Salon de Montrouge, 2019