- The office. 2013.
- Faim. 2013.
On the beach of La Panne, in Belgium, small figures on top of poles are looking out to sea, waiting for something. We see them impassive and unemotional faced with the inevitable: the sea’s announced rise. At the foot of the three dunes on which the reputation of the seaside resort is based, a house, which seems to have been abandoned for some years, stands out in the midst of the affluent villas surrounding it. The house is closed, because I arrived outside opening hours… With the friends who are with me, we venture into the garden, and give other a leg up to peep into the windows. Inside we discover decrepit rooms housing a host of small figures—a Lilliputian army which attests to the end of an era, thus echoing the villa.
What struck me when I came upon this work is how the artist relies on the physical reality of our world to create another one. The thoroughly real urban and natural landscapes he uses to present his cement figurines change status. Not only through the photographic perspective, and not because of some special effect or other, but in the facts themselves. A micro-landscape occupied by an Isaac Cordal sculpture radically alters reality. With admirably spare means he manages to overlay a world on ours.
While greenwashing inflicts daily damage on the new paradigm of thought that climate change is nevertheless imposing on us humans, it is crucial that, like Isaac Cordal, artists appropriate these issues with sensitivity, and in-depth. The fearsome social and moral aberrations caused by a dominant line of thinking, based on the conquest of power and money, represent the artist’s real concern. This crowd of loneliness is us. This idleness, and a feeling of being at a loose end, in the face of the forces of money, and this inability to put up a fight, are keenly felt by us. And we are part of this way of refusing to look at the announced catastrophe in the face.
A pessimistic vision, to be sure, but one which does not stop poetry being expressed. A certain romanticism, even, emanates from Isaac Cordal’s work. Looking at his photographs and his installations, it is impossible to remain indifferent. Shocked, amused, bothered, irritated, exalted, revolted, yes, but not indifferent. For all this refers to one question, which has to do with our responsibility.
After our first encounter in Brussels last December, Isaac paid a first visit to Nantes in February 2013. He criss-crossed the city, accompanied by his sculptures. The various projects developed step-by-step, straddling interior and exterior, like a permanent toand fro between the closed place, devoted to art, and the street. In the end he set up home in Nantes for three months, where, for the first time, he worked with a team, given the scope that the project had taken on. A Herculean task for a series of tiny people!
I thank him for his artistic, political, poetic and human commitment. David Moinard, curator.