Matthew Langan-Peck, Des Gonflables et des Clous, 10 September – 8 October 2016

As the title "Des Gonflables et des Clous" alludes to, there are two groups of sculptures in Matthew Langan-Peck’s exhibition at Édouard Montassut: one consists of three inflatable sculptures made of accumulated plastic bags filled with air by blowers, the second one is a set of carved nails, painted in different styles and resting on their heads. Behind these oversized forms, both playful and grotesque, there is a dual aesthetic of camp and fatigue that corrupts the symbols conveyed by the forms. The sculptures are threatening to collapse under their weight--the inflatables are precarious, and the nails twisted. The brain-shaped inflatable (Certain Brain) that fills part of the ground floor suggests an active but slightly degenerating mind, at risk of deflation or violent explosion. Opposite in the space, the mother, son, and insurgent trinity (The Child, The Mother, The Insurgent) plays with staid and traditionalist representations of family, the ones that nationalists put forth as the core of civil society, while the dandyish Bow Tie with its stars and stripes patterns, here in purple and red hues, ridicules this brand of fetishization. With the nail sculptures too, although funny erectile symbols that peacock despite their flaccidity, the artist addresses the violence and exclusion embedded in these representations of contemporary “heteropatriotism.” For the nation state or the global economy, difference remains a threat to masculinity and order.