«Support Act : La clé de champs » is the title of an exhibition by Yoann Van Parys, consisting in an installation of numerous works on the walls of the space, coloured lights placed discreetely in the ceiling and a performance. It has been presented at the Botanique, art center in Brussels, in February 2020, just before the rise of the pandemic. It has been closed earlier than expected after two weeks.
The space, if not the scene, is defined by the mixed colored zones in the ceiling, by several metallic bars screwed in the walls, and by plates of glass, painted and covered by silkscreen prints. These plates are gathered in small groups, forming some compositions with photographs and drawings, suggesting silent stories. There are also prints on paper: some brief texts oveprinted on existing printed material, often political leaflets, creating caustic encounters between different registers of language, between proverbs, poems, and propaganda. The metallic bars are sometimes horizontal, sometimes vertical. They are usually hidden within the walls of buildings, to structure and support them. But here they look like urban relics, amplifying an atmosphere of urbanity.
Every work functions with layers, with plays on conceptual or physical depths. It combines ideas, images, emotions in a theatrical way. An early experience in the world of comics could be traced in these works, in the way narration is engaged, though experimentaly. Many works contain characters, looking like puppets stucked in labyrinthic cities, so huge that they look like David against Goliath. It is the world-city, squeezing weak forms of life, with its inhumane dimension, its dry materials (glass, metal, concrete), the divisions it creates, its digital and abstract conception. Human being seems to err, to wander with no purposes in a city that he paradoxically conceived himself. Other characters are lost in solitary situa- tions, silences, blindness, difficulties to communicate with others.
During the performance, made during the opening, Van Parys wears a mask from Pierrot, a mischievous and sad character of the Commedia dell’arte. This person is seated in the center of the room, he doesn’t speak, and stares at his computer, apparently excluded from every conversa- tions around. But, actually, one could see that he is writing on his computer, in real time, several types of contents in French, English and Italian : pieces of conversations that he is hearing, answers that he gives to the visitors who try to enter in contact with him, personnal thoughts brought to the attention by associations. These words are projected in real time on top of one of the wall of the exhibition, as an additional layer. The artist is both present and absent; he seems to mimick the different personnalities of his charachters appearing in the silkscreen compositions. He is a figure both identified and anonymous, solitary and collective, operating almost like a prism, or a wizard, or a jester, trying to engage a form of catharsis, in the middle of a confused mob.