Over The Rainbow ENG

Mixing colours is what Cédric Noël does. Confusion that lets the senses float as well as the mute fabric of a plain grey flag - the grey that soothes from all other colours at the same time as it marks all things with ontological suspicion, giving it the status of what exists and simultaneously doesn't exist; the grey again of which one can never raise the colours, while those of the Belgian flag are today more than ever threatening to dissolve. 

Whatever the meaning that is given to this monochrome - provided that all monochromes have to make sense - despite even its title, Unité (Belgian flag) is a work on the "neutral", as in historical contradiction, the alone-standing gap or interval, constituent of utopia. Neither one or the other, nor the archaic, the modern, Wallonia, Flanders… There is a "nowhere" thus, that is not the negation of somewhere but the Other of everywhere, and that Cédric Noël even represented by the most rebellious taint to all transcendence - neither colour or non-colour, nor white or black, but grey. Grey immanence. 

In that way, Unité stands as a counterpoint to the systematic installation of Claire Fontaine who plays differently with the banner's chromatic symbolism: three copies of the French flag, of which the proportion of colours varies and with it, the importance of the values that are connected to it, reconstitute a national triad by denouncing its transcendence: Identity, Sovereignty, Tradition

Luc Tuymans's monotypes raise a more alive echo to the cold-ashes-coloured fabric than Claire Fontaine's standards. If Unité (Belgian flag) is an invitation to make a detour via Belgium's colonial past - about which Tuymans dedicated a series of paintings Mwana Kitoko, Beautiful White Man - the small monotypes presented here, although they are cut from any obvious political references, still transcribe through their limited chromaticism the grisaille-washed tone so peculiar to Tuymans' work and that gave it a pale aura of sad tropism-feature of a relation to a media-assisted history. 

From the catalogue Over The Rainbow, Le Carré Lille, Galerie de l'Ecole des Beaux Arts de Nantes, September 2008.