Simon Fenoulhet

Simon Fenoulhet

Imaging Wales

In the work of Simon Fenoulet the prosaic and everyday triumphs. This is also the artist's triumph. The 'elevation' of the mundane object into arthood was a popular theme in the late twentieth century and the ordinary object has had much projected on it - aesthetic philosophy and 'anxiety' among them. Fenoulet's objects are shop-new ordinary and his penchant is for the prosaic, rather than the, perhaps more conventionally tempting, kistch. Generally his assembling of objects is not that of a Terry Setch or a Robert Rauschenberg, for he tends to employ a multiplicity of a single object, organised and arranged in a seemingly 'rational' pattern. But the pattern does not remain rational, just as in his Shoal (1997), he arranged thousands of slightly bent silver teaspoons, which the viewer's eye metamorphosed into fish. This effect was compounded by a light projection onto the spoons, elevating the previously discarded and unregarded into new realms of sheer poetry.

Fenoulet's work includes large elements of play, of a highly intelligent kind: he interrogates the very essence of his objects but, even when destroying that essence in pursuit of a greater poetry, he does not obscure either their original state or function. Clearly he rejoices in the ambiguities he can conjure from them; transition and transformation are his metier, so that it would be easy but facile to apply a term like surrealistic to them, for they are no more transformations in the manner of, say, Picasso - or Man Ray - than they are Duchampian elevations. It says much of Fenoulet's work that it exists between any defined existing approach to the object. Not so much celebrating the banalities in the everyday but lifting it into a complex poetry which is - despite its ostensible play dimension - of a thoroughly serious kind.

Wales - China 2017

Thomas Martin - Stratum 50 - Open Books

India Wales

Hay Festival Kerala

Patagonia 150

Patagonia - Marc Rees