A leisurely stroll in West London, led us to this new exciting exhibition that caught our eyes and our he(ARTS). “Primae Noctis” (which ran from 15 January until 20 January ), held at Gallery 8 was Eduard Burgeat’s first solo exhibition. The show encapsulated his artistic intentions and ethos of what art can be. This extremely personal show depicted his relationship to art and the past.
The premise surrounding this exhibition, begun with the notion of the medieval lawless Primaes Noctis. This law permitted feudal lords the right to sleep with a serf bride on her wedding night. Twisting this old concept into contemporary times, Burgeat looks at the relationship between emerging artists in the commercial art world and its “feudal lords”- or in more blatant terms, the big shots who control this artistic arena.
Running with this idea, this daring exhibition fused a number of mediums such as collage, installation, drawings, lights and furniture. He cohesively connected these magnificent, personal art pieces by extracting the “delicacy of execution which often mellows the brutality of the context that inspired the work. Burgeat draws out the comparison between life and art in post war times and in credit crunch times.”
What may you ask was our favourite piece? Well, there were two striking pieces that immediately caught our attention. The first being Cross War Memorial and the second his Chair Series.
Cross War Memorial, a light fixture piece in the shape of the holy cross, (situated in the darkness of the lower space of the gallery), left us with an overwhelming feeling of remembrance. This piece illuminates the events of the First and Second World War, with photographs of the artist’s grandfather. The atmosphere surrounding the piece only furthered its conveying message, which was intended as a memorial- “a tribute to the concept of memory.” It not only illuminated the room but our he(ARTS) were captivated.
Chair Series (located on the first floor) for us, really drove home the idea that contemporary times have led us to believe that what is broken CAN be beautiful. By repurposing old chairs found in the streets of London, Burgeat highlights that “our contemporary reality is dominated by consumerism and mass production is meaningless.” It is the now the emerging artists that have taken mass production and reconstituted it into something new, unique and beautiful.
What I will call these works are “intimate art pieces.” Due to the artist’s family content embedded within the works, this allowed the viewer to relate easily to these pieces. This in turn, created not only beautiful pieces but has done something that not may artists cannot do- which is to create an intimate experience between art piece and viewer. We applaud Eduard Borugeat for allowing us to whole he(ART)edly experience these pieces on such an intimate level.
One more thing we must recognize and celebrate within this art show, is the curation. Eduard Bourgeat’s show was curated by London based curator Victoria Genzini. I must applaud her on taking the premise of the exhibit and fusing it into its curation. Every placement of the an art piece, emphasized its ethos- the light fixtures placed in the dark floor of the downstairs only illuminated the notion of memory, which would later lead us to the glass plate negatives highlighting the consequences of his grandfather’s actions and impact they had on country’s conditions during the war. The works and curation were blended together so perfectly to create a space of consistency and allowed the viewer to think through the ideas evoked by Burgeat.
We invite you to check out more of Eduard Borgeat work, because he will not be going anywhere anytime soon. Feudal lords make way for a new, unique artist with a fresh take on art. Upcoming shows by Victoria Genzini and Eduard Burgeat will be exhibited in March. We will be sure to keep you posted!
Peace Out, K.