Romain Dumesnil Romain Dumesnil

Viewing room


Rift[e] is a new group of works which explores the physical and symbolic notion of trace and its relationships with the micro-tectonics of painting.
Here the works emerge from one of the most rudimentary and primitive expressive gesture : using a wood stick to dig and trace lines into a layer of mineral material covering the surface of the canvas. As the wood piece digs into the mineral crust, it reveals the raw canvas and creates slits that resemble some reduced-scale reliefs.

Across times and cultures, human have always drawn lines in the sand, clay or earth using a piece of wood, whether to express something, to invoke magical forces or just as a body reflex. This practice of ‘ground drawing’ or ‘sand drawing’ seems intuitive, part of us, something we have carried with us forever. Like a natural bond between the earth, the vegetal and the human body, connecting in one of the most mysterious creation: the trace.
In the small limits of that trace lies infinite possibilities of interpretations, infinite times, pasts, presents and futures. And the inability to distinguish between nature and culture, animality and humanity, organic and mineral. As Derrida puts it la « trace est ce qui ne se laisse pas résumer dans la simplicité d’un présent ». Somehow the trace operates in the middle, like for some of the Aborigenal tribes of Australia, for who the trace is both a way of surviving, as it allows the hunters to find food (animals, vegetal tubers), and a larger source of information to make sense of the world and its cosmogony. In the trace, time and space are dilated and condensed at the same time. As some sort of tectonic movement, where the simultaneous pressure and tension between materials create cracks, rifts and mountains, opening new topologies from older configurations. At the level of the painting scales are lost and the movement of the stick on the mineral layer is like a seism sculpting minimal topologies. An open field of possibilities to dig further.