Davide Balula

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Davide Balula, Evaporating Water (Floating Puddle Swing), 2016

Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles

Davide Balula, Mimed Sculptures, 2015

Art Basel Unlimited Hall 1 (U06), June 16 - 19, 2016 | galerie frank elbaz, Gagosian Gallery

Mimed Sculptures

is a performed presentation of canonical works of sculpture. Above empty plinths of various sizes, a group of mimes will shape the air with their hands, rebuilding iconic modernist sculptures by Louise Bourgeois, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, David Smith, and Henry Moore.

Recalling the shallow objects of virtual reality, these invisible sculptures are perceptible only when their contours are being exposed and touched. Each fragment disappears once the mime’s hand moves, challenging the viewer’s visual memory to make out the form as a whole.

Performed by: Fabian Cohn, Géraldine Dulex, David Jenkins, Sébastien Loesener, Selma Roth, Selina Senti, Léonilde Torrini, Janaina Tupan, Johannes Voges

Costumes by: Olaf Tavares, Mara Danz

Davide Balula, La main dans le texte (pickpocket), 2015

La main dans le texte (pickpocket) (2015) is a now-dispersed work comprised of numerous porcelain medallions that were removed from their frames and placed by a pickpocket into the pockets and handbags of arbitrarily selected visitors over the course of the 2015 Prix Marcel Duchamp.

The surface of the work underwent a process of erosion throughout its installation. At the onset, the twenty-four wooden frames contained porcelain medallions that were hung over papers of the same shape. Each medallion and its corresponding paper were inscribed with the date and time at which the pickpocket discreetly placed the medallion with its unsuspecting recipient. As the medallions were distributed, the residual papers remained, serving both as a time-log of the performance and as a record of the installation in its entirety.

The expansion of this work was set in motion by the dexterous hands of the collaborating pickpockets, but ultimately realized through the movements of the fair’s public; the unwitting participants who spread the work throughout the Grand Palais and, eventually, beyond its walls. It is in this elongated state - existing at various geographic locations, cherished by some recipients and discarded by others - that the work now exists. 

Performed by
Fred Razon

Filmed and edited by
Jean-Pacôme Dedieu

Courtesy the artist and galerie frank elbaz, Paris

Davide Balula, Follow Venice, 2008 - by Marc Bembekoff

[Video in French]

Davide Balula is interested in new technologies, chemistry and physics. These fields question the boundaries of perception and imagination. The artist thinks it is impossible to have a clear and outlined vision of the reality. He uses his scientific knowledge and incorporates it in the field of imagination and art to renew our perception of the world and its established truths.

With Follow Venice, Davide Balula questions the notions of space and observation. The work resembles a screen which mirror-covered strips evoke a venetian blind. Depending on their orientation, the strips allow the spectator to see through, to partly discover what they should be hiding while reflecting a fragmented and mutilated image of his body and the space surrounding him. By multiplying the point of views and deformations, this work functions both as a Cubist painting and a submarine periscope that would destroy the physical integrity of the spectator and question the reality of his own perception.