For his first solo exhibition in Paris, François Curlet reveals a distanced worldview that challenges the clichés of the day. Advertising slogans, human interest stories or everyday objects give way to a subtle poetry. Out of this arises a system built on paradoxes in which – like the Fugu fish so highly valued in Japan – a delicious dish can become a deadly poison. The visitor fluctuates between lighthearted intellectual pleasure and a latent seriousness that could manifest itself at any moment.
In Fugu, Curlet's monographic exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, an extensive selection of pieces from the period between 1985 and 2013 is presented. Since the end of the 1980s, the artist has been developing a body of work in which the material world is dismantled, disturbed, and distorted through the poetry of the day to day. From the existential to the trivial, François Curlet’s fields of interest seem to have no limits, no one territory. Micro-history, human interest, historical events, political news, advertising slogans, social anecdotes, derivative work and puns are fertile ground for the artist’s work.
In the wake of artists such as Erik Satie, George Brecht, Jef Geys, John Knight or the film Mon oncle d’Amérique (1979) by Alain Resnais, François Curlet creates a universe in which humor is also used to unravel social protocol.