In Stephen Frear’s movie « The Queen » (2006), Queen Elisabeth II drives a Jeep through the vast landscape of Balmoral. Crossing a river, she breaks a wheel of the car, calls for help, then waits for help to arrive. She sits on a rock next to a river and looks at the landscape, calmly. While beeing fullfilled by the beauty of the landscape, suddenly she sees a Deer, quite near, not afraid, and this vision (inspired by the Saint Hubert Legend) is like an epiphany : she’s shared between the ultimate beauty of this exceptional moment and the very crude reality of what she has to go through in her life at this moment.
This is what the show « The Deer » tries to achieve.
The show is a reflexion on the exhibition as « moment » : works are displayed together in order to allow the viewer to make an experience as strong as the deer vision in Frear’s movie. The works in the exhibition are mostly figurative, mostly paintings. Their subject are all linked either with the idea of landscape, domestic interiors or erotism : all of them describe the « landscape » as an erotic construction – as well as the few abstract paintings in the show. Strangeness has been carefully injected in the journey through the show as well as the most immediate and perfect beauty of landscapes, flowers and woods. The viewer may only trust himself to achieve this experience the « secretary » by Trisha Donnelly welcomes the viewer but no one is behind the desk : you have to trust what you see.
The show in itself claims for the trust the viewer has to put in the experience he makes of the artworks as specific language grounded on vision (the series of Remy Zaugg paintings) and like the « Gargantua » monumental sculpture by Rachel Feinstein, constructs le landscape itself during his walk. Works have ben choosen carefully in order to make this experience possible, allowing the viewer to suddenly face spectacular masterpieces (Currin, Katz, Phillips,…), these ones purposely involving a wide range of color.
The 17 rooms of Le Consortium’s new building offer almost 2000sq meter to turn this experience into a journey, where the works will have a lot a white space around, then putting the viewer in the very calm conditions required to have the deer, hopefully, appear.
— Eric Troncy.