Samir Mougas’s work seems like an area of aesthetic experimentation, mixing observed and sometimes borrowed forms with displays of arrangements in which they rub shoulders. By developing a very rich and documented formal vocabulary, which borrows as much from biodiversity as from industry and its machines, Samir Mougas’s works nevertheless seem to withstand the gaze and, paradoxically the immediate seduction which they exercise.
Sculptures and volumes at times reduced to their pure surface, to a materiality which seems to retreat under the weight of the gaze, as if the artist were inviting us to look no longer head on, but askance. Because in his works, it is less the forms than the signs which seduce the eye, the better to then lose it; or, at the very least, questioning it.
From now on, his work invites the viewer to confront withdrawing (désistant*) forms; surfaces which turn into images and signs which do not show us anything more than an emptied signifier/signified relation, to be filled in. By urging the viewer to look twice at them, and question the obviousness of their forms in order to deconstruct their semantic and plastic cogs, Samir Mougas’s works seem to manage to stall the gaze which we cast upon them. The artist turns into a sculpture of space, diverting the experience of the eye into a time of semantic construction of form.
From these formed signs, re-used in their interpretation, there appears an “imagination of the sign”** , asserting the perceptible dimension at work in the very act of seeing. Samir Mougas strives endlessly to create the conditions for appearances of an amazement, a new gaze, to enable the viewer to escape for a moment from the cultural, economic and political events which stake out our daily round.
- ”Désistance”, Jacques Derrida, preface to Typography, by Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Harvard University Press, 1989.
** Roland Barthes, “L’imagination du signe” in Essais Critique, Paris, Seuil, 1964.
Excerpts from the text “Regard double” by Emma Cozzani, written in May 2015