Extract of Janus, by Anne Bertrand, 2013
In the catalogue for the exhibition Blow Up, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, Liénart Editions
Translated by John Doherty, 2014
Right from the start, Philippe Droguet's mode of operation has been patient, disciplined, persistent. This ascesis is a part of his identity. [...]
Seeing, looking at, even scrutinising works cannot but be useful in terms of what is thereby revealed about an artist's vocabulary, syntax and language. The choice of materials, the execution of the pieces and their spatial presentation are of course important, as are their mutual relations... But it rapidly becomes clear that Droguet's formal concerns go hand in hand with the content and meaning of his work. [...]
"Form doesn't interest me as such; I see it more as a vehicle of 'thought in action'. My relationship to language is tense. I try to achieve precision in the articulation of codes and signs." 1 [...]
A certain violence undermines the aestheticism of the pieces, in most cases generating an impression of past or potential aggression. As Droguet says, "I want to create a presence capable of producing an emotion that has a signification. I want to induce a sense of unease and doubt, and paradoxical reactions. I want the setup to be like an echo, a resonance with the socio-political context in which it's produced; so that the context underlies the work, and informs it, though without giving it a narrative dimension. [There is indeed an alternation between peacefulness and violence in my sculptures]; it's an alternation of hot and cold, like a tangible echo of the world's violence." 2
1. Email interview with the artist, by the author, 12 May – 16 June 2013.
2. Interview with the artist by Hervé Percebois, March 2013.