Fellow of Villa Medici in 2013-2014, the artist and director Théo Mercier returns ten years later to this place which marked a decisive turning point in his artistic career to present BAD TIMING . This solo exhibition will develop in the context of architecture, in the internal and external spaces of Villa Medici starting from 10 June 2023, with an exhibition culmination which will take place in September 2023.
The scenario of the exhibition proposed by Théo Mercier seems to have been defined from the outset. A rain of cars hit the square of Villa Medici . Face to the ground and with wings outstretched, these wounded-bodied birds emit the last breaths of a barely audible musical radio. Moving further, it is possible to make out a series of bronze chairs melting in the sun here and there in the building. Abandoned, deformed, crushed or split between the weight of a heavy stone and the suction force of a helium balloon stretched towards the zenith, these sculptures in fact point the way to an enigma that will find its solution in the internal spaces of Villa Medici .
Sheltered from the melancholy of the sky, it is in the exhibition rooms leading to the ancient cistern that Théo Mercier stages the subterranean resolution of this dystopian situation , drawing on the ancient tradition of the Memory Palaces. The sculptures he invites into this space of paradoxical memory are hybrid structures of used appliances and amputated marble sculptures, from the Villa Medici collections . This new series of borrowed sculptures bonded with different shibari techniques expresses the artist's sadism and pleasure in dealing with the lavish vestiges of the past and the post-industrial residues of contemporary chaos.