September 14 - October 21, 2023
Jean-Michel is an artist duo composed by Sophie Varin and Antoine Carbonne.
In the world of video games, "Rage Quit" could be translated as rage abandonment.
It often occurs during online and team games, and can be caused by connection problems, poor communication between players and accumulated frustration.
We chose to depict the moment following the angry reaction.
Comparable to, but not identical with, the loss of meaning in burn-out, the drop-out is conducive to the appearance of transcendental imagery, far removed from the idea of rage suggested by the title.
What remains is a form of surrender.
Let's move away from the video game metaphor.
This is a series of oil-on-canvas "paintings". They feature a character with a blurred identity crossing colorful landscapes. A house, a hill, water, rock, a dream and tiredness. This ensemble follows on from Jean-Michel's exhibition I Can Do It Anymore (at DBKA paddock in Brussels, June 2023), in which our character vacillated between boundless willpower and despair.
Each painting looks like a new attempt to survive, which could follow or lead to a "rage quit". Large landscapes or mini-worlds crystallize a critical situation experienced by the characters.
The "rage quit" of life is a temporary isolation, like a rejection of collaboration. It follows the subject's growing gap between reality and his.her expectations of reality. When things don't turn out the way we imagined them and this becomes unbearable. When the subject maintains an overly personal version of reality while refusing confrontation. "Rage quit" can be both irrational and harmful.
Born a child of privilege, JM turned into a destructive adult.
After an international career debut (residency in Mexico City, exhibitions in Paris, Brussels and New York) and features in prestigious publications, interviews given by renowned director Julia Huet Alberola, our character continues to feel sorry for him.herself and moan rather than adopt a constructive approach. We're tired of speaking for him.her, and of having to endure the rules of this tyrannical Pinocchio. The game has turned against us. JM has been let down. They remembers all the good resolutions they forgot the next day. People refuse to comment on their work. They suffers from indifference. They've accepted that they can't shine with their intellect and focuses on sensations and emotions. Although JM irritates us, we can't abandon them. We retreat. JM becomes a hermit. This is not a disconnection, but a spiritual challenge as opposed to a social one. This exhibition is there to heal ourselves and the world.
Jean-Michel (Sophie Varin et Antoine Carbonne)