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Alain Séchas at the Forum

Nuit et Jour

For his first solo show in Japan, French artist Alain Séchas was invited by the Forum to present a selection of his major works, from automata mounted on railtracks, to drawings and sculptures that immerse the audience in distinctive fictional worlds, day and night.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Alain Séchas at the Forum
© Nacàsa and Partners Inc.

"I always try, in an exhibition, to gather the different elements present, and in particular the light – I expose my works, bringing them quite literally 'to light' in the photographic sense of the term. I like the idea of taking the viewer from day into night time", explains Alain Séchas. With direct references to the imagery of popular culture – comic books, graffiti – Alain Séchas' characteristic cat figures embody his fantastical, humourous approach.

The Forum presents three Somnambules ("Sleepwalkers") by Alain Séchas – large white automata with feline heads, their eyes round or closed depending on their state of wakefulness, symbolizing the passage from day to night. The figures glide through the gallery space, passing between black curtains. The spectacular show plays on the element of surprise, with sudden appearances and disappearances.

"Somnambules tries hard to take the audience by surprise and prevent them from backing out, or only with a rather forced, idiotic smile", explains the artist. Behind the curtain, the visitor discovers a circuit lit by neon pictures. Their tracery echoes the curves of the rails conducting the sculptures. The "sleepwalkers" hurry forward, blindly. Caught off-guard, the visitor must decide where to place himself.

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