MDVANII - MEMORIES FROM EARTH
The Artworks of BillyBoy* & Lala
Maison d'Ailleurs - Yverdon-les-Bains - 2000 - 2001
Mdvanii de BillyBoy* was invented in1987 and came out in 1989
in Paris and never ceased to evolve ever since.
Creation of two complementary individuals,
She is a work of osmosis and continuity.
"Beware! this is not a doll!"
should someone precise.
Mdvanii, sculpture with a lifestyle,
who is a doll only in appearance,
is before all a medium,
an invitation to meditation.
inside her porcelain head,
for ever, for never,
is sealed a poem.
Neither heroin or icon,
neither Venus or Sapho,
she has all the charming airs
which make the woman's beauty,
according to Charles Baudelaire:
The blasé air
The ennoyed air
The evaporated air
The shameless air
The cold air
The air of looking inside
The air of domination
The volonteer air
The mean air
The sick air
The cat air, childiness, nonchalance and wittiness altogether.
With the other female and male members of her multi-racial tribe,
she takes us along in a faraway world
where humans and aliens look strangely alike.
But the future,
when is it, and for whom?
Mdvanii, in her day organic suit, is looking faraway and remembers.
Memories from Earth, a long time ago...
(Invitation poster text by Lala JPL)
MDVANII, A META FICTION
Mdvanii at the Maison d'Ailleurs is the concretisation of a new turn in the career of BillyBoy* and Lala. The exhibition Mdvanii, Memories from Earth emphasized the aesthetic message specific to the artist's universe, and projects Mdvanii and her peers far into the future. When exactly? The visitor is free to decide...
Above all, BillyBoy* and Lala say that they choose difference and individuality rather than standardisation and "global thinking", and express the fusion of the worlds - until now clearly different - of dolls, art, and science fiction. Surrealism, Futurism and science fiction always had a great impact on BillyBoy*'s career. For example, in the middle of the seventies, he invented Mister Modern, which appeared in numerous video-clips, in the underground press and during "happenings" with the support of Andy Warhol. Ironic, announcing great social changes for the future, Mr. Modern is the fantastical counterpart of his creator: he's surfing on trends to anticipate them, manipulating the media and laughing at the people trying to imitate him... Also, BillyBoy* was the first to conceive astronaut clothes for Barbie.
This exhibition actually expresses the will of the Maison d'Ailleurs to show that the horizon of science fiction is wider than the imagery which is often associated to it by the general public. Of course, numerous literary and cinema masterworks have been produced through that traditional form. But science fiction contains many forms of expression, and the Maison d'Ailleurs has the great pleasure to show here - once more - how varying and surprising that field can be...
Dolls - maybe strangely - aren't absent of science fiction, mainly as artificial counterfacts of the human being, like androids and clones. For instance, Olympia, described by E.T.A. Hoffmann in Der Sandmann at the beginning of the 19th-century, is nothing but a mechanical doll. But she matches the appearance of a real woman so perfectly that the main character falls in love with her. For Philip K. Dick, a doll represents even more than a false human being. Inspired by Barbie, the writer imagines (in The 3 stigmatas of Palmer Eldritch, 1965) that it is possible to project oneself in the miniature world of dolls with the help of drug use. Colonists, living a miserable life on Mars, can leave their morbid daily existence to rejoin Perky Pat, her sportscar, her Jacuzzi and her nice suburban house. The satire of the American way of life of the sixties isn't far...
It's also a whole universe that BillyBoy* and Lala present at the Maison d'Ailleurs. The doll actually becomes a medium for fiction: Mdvanii gets a true psychological dimension. The artists give her the profile of an intellectual, independent and smart woman, with her own relatives (friends, family and lovers), her hobbies, her literary tastes. It's a real and complete world appearing in front of us, through several artistic mediums (photography, drawing and sculpture).
The woman has a place of primary importance in that society, and she doesn't content herself with being a stooge. We are very far from the classical image of woman in science fiction - which, like Ursula Le Guin wrote, "presented them as squeaking dolls subject to instant rape by monsters--or old maid scientists de-sexed by hypertrophy of the intellectual organs--or, at best, loyal little wives or mistresses of accomplished heroes." It's the contrary here: Mdvanii, mysterious and delicate, leads men where she wants. She dresses with organic clothes or cloud dresses, and never forgets to be sophisticated and glamorous, even in her daily life.
As BillyBoy* and Lala said, "if man walked on the moon, Mdvanii will surely walk there on high heels..."
Patrick G. Gyger
Curator of the Maison d'Ailleurs
About the "Past-o-rama".
The "Past-o-rama" is the term invented by BillyBoy* for the first room of the exhibition, a space where the past, present and future of Mdvanii co-exist and interact. The multiplied image of Mdvanii in different big formats photographs and paintings as well as dolls themselves, only visible through tiny holes in the walls, confronts us before all to our own perception of the "doll" object. In the center of the room, the Memory Dress installation features a futuristic Mdvanii, walking on a trompe-l'oeil red carpet and between two rows of blood-stained dressforms on plaster bases with faces on them (symbol of the inconscient?) is an allegory of time going by and perpetually transforming itself.
Design by Lefty© Fondation Tanagra