Hippolyte Hentgen

09.21.18 - 10.21.18
Personal Exhibition — Château d'Eau



© Hippolyte Hentgen, sentiments adrift, series, 2013

Production - Installation

Associated through the fictional character that is Hippolyte Hentgen, Lina Hentgen and Gaëlle Hippolyte cancel their individualities in favour of this third creative entity. For the Château d'Eau, Hippolyte Hentgen has therefore designed an installation titled B-R-E-E-K that combines drawing, collage, sewing and video. This title refers both to George Herriman's comic strip Krazy Kat (1913-1944) and to Toulouse's famous red brick (“brique rose”) that the Château d'Eau is made of. On the ground floor a set of thirteen wall hangings closely fit the roundness of the space, almost completely covering its walls. Because of its fluidity, fabric is the ideal medium to use here. A patchwork of second-hand upholstering fabrics and fabrics printed with patterns characteristic of the artist's iconography, these hangings present a panorama of bursts of brick in a form close to the comic strips it references. Downstairs, The Hound and the Rabbit – a video-graphic proposal – shows a digitised version of a 16mm print of a cartoon made by Rudolf Ising (1937) that the artists have reworked using ink. As often with this genre, it's about a race between two animals. The soundtrack is divided into three parts, firstly isolated sounds of interference, then, identifiably, sounds from the original cartoon, finally, abstract sounds, created by the warping of the original, and now unrecognisable sounds. This work by Hippolyte Hentgen is as inspired by contemporary art as it is by popular culture and transfigures and renews with humour a comic myth that is anchored in collective memory.

More than a four-hand collab- oration, the character who is Hippolyte Hentgen is a realm of sharing and a way of taking distance from the work that is produced. By appropriating comic-book and editorial cartoon codes, Gaëlle and Lina play on tones (burlesque, naïve) and references (from Jim Shaw to 1930's cartoons, from underground art to Modernism) and revive popular imagery as well as its clichés. Even though they mostly practice drawing, they often ally it with painting, fabrics, installation and theatre scenery. Exhibited amongst other places at the Pavillon Baudoin in Paris (2014), at the Semiose gallery in Paris (2012 and 2014), at the Centre Pompidou (2015) and at the CAC La Traverse d'Alfortville (2017), Hippolyte Hentgen's work is notably part of the collections at MAC/VAL – Musée d'Art Contemporain in Vitry-sur-Seine, the Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, and the Frac Champagne- Ardenne, Limousin, Corse and Normandie.
Born in 1977 and 1980 they live and work in Paris.