Contemporary Art Society and The Economist Group are pleased to present Belgian artist Didier Mahieu’s La Tentation du Vide at the Economist Plaza. It is the second stage of an ongoing creative project that travels from Brussels to London and back again later in the year.
The project began with a solo show at the ISELP gallery in Brussels. Comprising film, sculpture, painting and drawing, Mahieu evokes an anthropological excavation of the subconscious. For this show Mahieu creates a life-size bridge of gold circled by a gleaming silver shark, charting the ebbs and flows of the commercial world and of the workers that pass through the city daily. The symbolism of these precious elements is clear, but the work is infused further with concerns of currency and liquidity in a metaphorical sense.
The bridge represents a crossing from one place to another, a spiritual as much as a physical journey. Within the basking body of the shark the bridge is reflected as a miniaturised and distorted interior world. Ideas of transformation and passage are important concerns in the artist’s work.
Mahieu is a manipulator of mystery and a purveyor of existential enigmas, attempting to abolish the barriers between the real and the imaginary. These structures encourage discovery and contemplation of the artist’s enchanting universe. For the final leg of the journey, the sculptures will return to Brussels for an exhibition at the recently restored Les Brigittines Contemporary Art Centre.
About the Artist
Didier Mahieu has exhibited widely in Belgium and internationally, with recent solo shows including Eve: Phase 1 Le Complot, Institut supérieur pour l’étude du langage plastique, Brussels, 2007; A Day Elsewhere, Museum of Modern Art, Ostend; A Day Elsewhere, Think Tank 2, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, 2006; La France Mandarine, National Museum of Peking, Beijing, 2004.