La Ruta Natural
Rinus Van de Velde
For the inaugural exhibition dedicating its new site, the Frac des Pays de la Loire entrusted the Belgian artist Rinus Van de Velde (born in 1983 in Louvain), on a proposal by Laurence Gateau, with the task of imagining an exhibition personal, also giving pride of place to a subjective choice in the FRAC’s collections, while opening the horizon to a dialogue with the visual artist Kati Heck (born in 1979 in Düsseldorf).
La Ruta Natural is the eponymous title of a film work, matrix-palindrome of the course. The video – combining filmed images, sets, miniaturized models and accessories – immediately lays the foundations for a dreamlike world. A masked man steps into a car, and it’s the start of an immersive descent into a pasteboard engine room reminiscent of the cogs of a Tinguely. This video work, as a metaphor for the artistic process, finds its origin in the elaboration of the drawings, large meticulously saturated charcoals, for the elaboration of which the artist constructs artisanal staging beforehand. Here, a room with leprous walls which one can enter is also reconstituted: an iron bed will see the final scene play out, in a Lynchian plunge into the unconscious. From then on, Rinus van de Velde built his personal mythology, a life story performed in a plastic incarnation.
Part of the exhibit is also a curatorial device. Indeed, if Rinus Van de Velde invites Kati Heck, in a companionship based on friendship, it is to better illuminate the narrative dimension that these two artists share. Kati paints in oils and on a large scale, where Rinus draws in charcoal; but both create sketches and fictional units. The choice that the artist has made within the Frac collections is very revealing of an aesthetic family in which he fits, favoring a marginal gaze, ignoring the logic of belonging. These include Rosemarie Trockel, John Armleder and Laurent Tixador.
This winding and tormented road is not so natural as it seems: looking at the drawings becomes a reading operation, opening access to the mental cave of artistic production, the better to get out. finally unharmed and resume the path.