Humor me is a proposal by two french artists, Gisèle Gonon and Cédric Mantel to watch and enter a world of images quietly disrupting reality, either by choices of awkward and naive themes, or by fleeting and prosaic means. Humor me is an invitation to a friendly indulgency towards a relationship with the world in which you will find generosity, humor, questions, and attemps of decoding. The main characteristic of the works presented may be their refusal of dogmatism, of messages, of prescriptions. The uncertainty is offered, as ways of taming authority, complexity, of an agressive world composed through mainstream commercial images and unambiguous reading of the world. As if seriousness was no proof of rightness.
In the jellyfishes drawings, Gisèle Gonon is interested in the prosaic figure of the animal. Jellyfish could appear as the figure of the absence of form. So it could be composed only by colours, as the background matrix could suggest. The helicopters and engines could appear as dreadful machines of control and mechanical power, but her simple and somehow naive line defuses instantly all agressiveness and threat. Cédric Mantel’s make-up drawings function as sweet reinterpretations of agressive scenes, through their subjects or formal compositions. Pastel colors and powder like material imply a fragility contradictory with their subjects. His Totenhamtanze series can be considered also as attempts to disrupt, cut, recompose a reality to give another one, read this time through its fragments, as meaningful (more meaningful ?) as the original model. Through his videos, glimpses of reality are offered, as spaces of times usually unwatched as unmeaningful. The camera watches for us the simple beauty of fate and concrete, happy, coincidences of our world. The artists are there to lead us through scenes - footbal, streets, subways, submarine life - and repeated patterns ; by taking us cheerfully by the hand, they give us the possibility to encounter differently with reality, and give us some means to just look at what surrounds us, persuading we have some power over it.
Text published in the framework of the exhibition Humor Me, Hochparterre-Berlin, 2015