DRONES, PILLS & YANTRAS
Drones, pills & yantras, 2014
Ludovic bernhardt’s solo exhibition drones, pills & yantras, aimed to draw attention to the post-industrial society’s some of the visual rituals. Medicines and pills packaging, military codes, fictional maps, yantra diagrams and mandalas, and so on, are used as signs which infiltrate bio-politically our daily life. Bernhardt mentions that “my aim is to combine various everyday objects and signs which frame politically the life of the ‘one dimensional man’. In the exhibition, he considers these pieces as ‘psycho-objects’ by using a variety of mediums, light installation, soap boxes, pseudo-mystical posters. According to the artist, one of the main important problematic which underlie the artworks is the issue of how an ultra-protective environment can be connected with the political reality.
The pieces exhibited were very created under the strong influence and spirit of the books theory of the drone (Grégoire Chamayou, 2013), Testo junkie (Beatriz Preciado, 2008) and the marxist book: wars of the global empire (Alain Joxe, 2013)
(Civilization and Its Discontents)
Installation: Strobe, chains, drawing with graphite on a piece of rubber, 2014
Drawing of the original frontispiece of the Freud’s “Civilization and Its Discontents » combined with a strobe light.
This book, essential understand the irrational violence which shook Europe in 20th century, is subjected to the strong white light of the strobe, which makes it a cold analysis of a double-discontent: The discontent of the civilization that Freud studied in this book and the discontent of the failed reading of the book which could have guided the international political decisions of a civilisation subjected to the “death drive”.
16 drones names applied on 16 standard domestic plates. The drones, unmanned aerial vehicles mostly used by the US army (and numerous other countries) during Middle East wars, became the hi-tech tools of a new barbarian Western remote-controlled domination, acting dangerously out of the conventional war rights. Used as surveillance, man hunt and remote killing machine tools, their coded names are, in this piece, confronted with the domestic and mundane identity of the plates, here showed as pure decorative objects: Both evocation of a globalised war imperialism and expression of private domestic banality. This series is based on the reading of the book “Theory of the Drone”, written by Grégoire Chamayou (2013) who analyses the recent transformation of wars leaded by the USA.
The drones names written on the plates come from U.S.A., France, Europe, China, Pakistan, Turkey, Germany, Israel, Russian, and U.K. They mostly Summons mythological references.
Meditative wheel composed of anxiolytic drugs boxes. The industrial pharmacopoeia creating the contemporary post-Fordist psychotropic psyche is represented by a meditative wheel, kind of techno-mystical graphic medium.
Meditation diagram composed of blister-packs of birth control pills. The industrial pharmacopoeia creating the emancipated and achieved femininity of our post-Fordist society is represented by a meditative diagram, a techno-mystical graphic medium. This series is linked to the book ‘Testo Junky’ (2003) written by Beatriz Preciado.
WheelPROZAC + WheelRITALIN
Meditation wheel composed of antidepressant drugs boxes. Prozac is a drug used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric. From 2001 to 2009, 34 million people received a prescription of this medicine, as a part of a huge social bio-control. Industrialised pharmacopeia constructs the contemporary psyche of people suffering from depression, by subjecting a portion of the population to “magic wheel” chemistry. Meditation wheel composed of psycho-stimulant drugs boxes. Ritalin is a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Industrialised pharmacopoeia constructs the contemporary psyche of post-industrial bio-children, who, therefore, are subject to the “magic wheel” of medicinal chemistry and drug manufacturing.
Lake Gozha Tso / Lake Zabuye / Lake Zahri Namco / Lake Rakshastal
4 wooden tables, 4 inkjet print on fine art paper
Each table 50 x 50 x 105 cm , 5+1 AP
Four Tibetan lakes are depicted as mapped territories with precise borders whereas they belong to a natural register with fluctuating borders due to their liquid nature.
Medals/ Hot air balloon
1000 cards - Offset print, 2014
This piece, distributed to the visitors, can be read both ways: as a medal and/or a hot-air balloon, depending on the direction we take the cards. Medals or hot-air balloons, heavy or light, terrestrial or aerial; the motif is neutral and does not specify any hierarchy or distinction.
Video projection on 6 pink liquid detergent bottles, 2014
Recorded by a US hunting drone in Afghanistan and later diffused on the Internet, this video is projected on a wall composed of 6 pink liquid soap bottles. In this installation, the “eye-machine”, imperialistic weapon that has become widespread, is associated with a domestic, mundane and hygienic object.
Mirror of the Revolts #1
(Shelves, mirrors, engraved and painted metal plaques), 150 x 60cm, 2014
The dates, locations and geographical coordinates of three of the most recent and significant revolts that happened in 2014 are engraved on metal plaques fixed under each shelf.
We are going to enter a new era of « time of riots » (Badiou). These revolts arise as an inversion of the society, ruled by so-called the spectacular democracies, which look ‘stable’ and ‘resigned’ on the surface.
This piece proposes a reversed reading of right/left and up/down: mirrored reversal of the « reality ». These plaques are a discrete celebration.
Among the revolts emerging all over the world every week, (whose the number is rising up since a decade) these three revolts were chosen as symptoms of a more conservative Europe, witnessing the rise of repression and intolerance: Rising of far right wing / retention camps for migrants / repression of the poverty and the economy of survival.
1-Vienna, Austria, January 24, 2014
2-Vincennes, France : February 14, 2014
3-Athens, Grece. March 13, 2014
Mirror of the Revolts #2
Engraved metal plaque, 24 x 18cm, 2014
The dates, locations and geographical coordinates of the most recent and significant European revolts are engraved on metal plaques in this exhibition. But the display of the information is inversed. This one is the very recent plaque celebrating the Madrid “dignity march”. On 22nd of March tens of thousands citizens marched against the austerity and impotent Spanish government.
KOREA Satellite PAINTING
Oil on canvas, 150 x 128cm, 2013
Painting made from a satellite photograph of the North and South Korea. The three chromatic layers are discretely shifted. The two brother countries are separated by a frontier and two politico-ideological systems totally opposed to each other. This piece is a cartographic representation of schizophrenic radical politics.