Always eager to tackle the issues that are gnawing away at him, Evariste Richer offers a new body of work that enable an understanding of the world in its spatio-temporal complexity. His work probes through various disciplines such as geology, geography and astronomy, which condition our perception of things. He observes the mismatches and dividing lines between these disciplines to give a new perspective.
In the right-hand room, the visitor discovers the series of Micachromes recently exhibited at the Vassivière Art Centre, consisting of 11 enlargements of mica sheets. Fascinated by the transparent quality of this rock, the artist has used each sheet as positive (so there is no actual film) and enlarged it onto Cibachrome paper (a technique threatened with extinction). Having played a significant role in the development of life on earth, mica is seen here in its 'intimacy’. It reveals a natural structure that recalls a formal analogy with gestural art, whether the oriental or Western variant.
With Coprolithe, presented on a pedestal, it is clear that the association is a common practice for this artist, who is comparing here a pair of Adidas trainers with fossilized dinosaur faeces. There is a measure of humour in the similarity of the colour of the objects but beyond that, it is the confrontation of a sign (in the sense of brand too) of our times with a concretion dating back several million years that challenges us. The rapprochement between two eras is a feat of intellectual gymnastics which motivates the birth of certain works, as can be seen in the forthcoming exhibition by Evariste Richer at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (27 February to 20 May, 2013).
In the left-hand room, Geological scale, a polyptych representing the geological scale defined by the scientific community, looks more like a calendar than a timeline. By deleting all the names of the Earth's geological eras, Richer only leaves visible the colour codes CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-key and black) and renders perceptible the abstraction that is time. This division of time which dwarfs Man can also be seen in the cross-section of a meteorite that the artist holds in his hand like a painter's palette (La Palette du Diable). By holding this specimen found in 1836 in Namibia in this way, Richer offers a fine metaphor for the artist as a key figure complementing the work of the scientist who struggles to explain the world.
For Le Mètre Lunaire presented on a pedestal, he based the work on the method of calculation use to define the standard metre (which is based on the length of a meridian) and calculated the length a metre would be if it were based on lunar references. Le Mètre Lunaire is a copper bar engraved with the inscription "1m equals 27.27 cm" that enables us to ponder the format of our metric system and repositions us in a planetary context. At last, a small work fixed to the wall, Entre le pôle et l’équateur, places the blue planet at the centre of reflexions and repositions us in a universal context, which probably helps to put our place, here and now, into context