For this second Viewing Room, Macadam Gallery presents Studio RODA, a duo of french artists based in France and Belgium.
A friendship, a synergy of talents, a creative collaboration which was meant to be...
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH OF SPACE OCCUPATION ?
ROMAIN: I consider our work as an orderly imbalance. We are constantly thinking about a space occupation with geometric architectural shapes. Our researches are structured around the simplicity of a line and a pure aesthetics . The choice of using metal is carefully thought, its strength and its weight contrast with the visual lightness that we give it.
DAMIEN: Personally, I grew up surrounded by plans, drawing tables and building projects with my Dad. As an Architect, he often brought me to visit his project before, during and after refurnishing.
I was so amazed about what could be done within the same space with different ideas.
Since I became able to do it myself, I like to transform and renovate spaces and places, to give them a contemporary look.
HOW DOES YOUR ARTISTIC DUO WORK ? HOW DO YOU CONNECT YOUR TALENTS ?
DAMIEN: It is indeed a demand as a duo.. We have known each other for 20 years now but the last two years were really challenging. As we live in two different cities, we speak nearly everyday on the phone and exchange about the creation, production process and ingenierie issues. The pieces look simple but are actually quite complicated to make. There is a lot of preparation before starting a piece.
ROMAIN: We have a true artistic complicity. We often start with an idea and then an exchange of sketches and reflections begins until. In fact, our duo is a real strength as each shares his knowledge. Damien has a lot of ideas, he is a stimulating free electron which nothing can stop. I am rather a quiet force. I tend to take more time for reflecting and analyzing or for tackling technical issues.
DAMIEN: We try to extract the best from each. We share our knowledge so that both can explore new learnings and we don’t stay stuck with steps that we don’t master. For instance, Romain taught me a bit of 3D and I shared with him a few Communication skills.
Regarding the welding, metal, and know how, we both learn step by step.
WHAT DOES LIGHT REPRESENT FOR YOU ? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH ITS REFRACTION ?
DAMIEN: As a photographer, light is the beginning and identity of an artist. The composition and the mood will be driven by it. Lights can be soft, hard, multiples.. They are the beginning of a discussion. Refraction, diffraction, transparency, all these have an impact on how a piece is perceived and how one can play with gravity and space occupation. Light sculpts pieces and it is definitely a medium we want to explore further.
ROMAIN: Light represents the common thread between art, design, architecture and humans. Without light there is only darkness. It allows to bring gracefulness, or even a fragility, while creating reflections, diffractions… Light can also be a technical obstacle which stimulates us to push our research.
WHERE DO YOU IMAGINE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN TEN YEARS ?
ROMAIN: It is hard for me to imagine the future, I have no certainty but only convictions. That said, I can well picture myself with Damien in a big lab studio of materials and colors, surrounded by trees or mountains, researching new, always crazier creations.
DAMIEN: We are both quite mature in our original environment. We are currently working on Monumental pieces for a private collection. That is so exciting to share creation steps with the collector and imagine ourselves, just two years after having started this project, entering one of the best sculpture collections of the country. We are so Grateful !
In ten years, I hope that we will have done a few Solo exhibitions and hopefully that a few of our pieces will be in public spaces. That would be a really great start.
WHAT ARE YOUR ARTISTIC REFERENCES ?
DAMIEN: My Idol is Anthony Gormley. All his career, research and creative process is just so amazing. He mixes everything I love.. Architecture, Human beings, societal issues, the medium itself, gravity matters.. questioning us all with very simple but powerful installation. Madly in Love.
I really like Bernard Venet, Chiharu Shiota, Kawamata, and many others.
I am very interested in the young and emerging scene as well.
I feel a boiling scene now and with social media we have an open window of discovery everyday from our home.. It’s endless…
ROMAIN: I really admire Mathieu Lehanneur, Roman et Erwan Bouroullec , Arik Levy, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Pierre Soulages, Bernard Venet, Richard Sera. But like Damien I enjoy following the young and emerging scene. The world of sculpture is always moving, inspirations come from everywhere. Twenty years ago, it was really difficult to follow the new creations closely. Now with Instagram it is possible to share and exchange with a larger public.
WHAT WOULD BE THE PROJECT OF YOUR DREAMS ?
DAMIEN: My dream project would be to have free rein in a sublim park, in my HomeTown, Paris. Versailles, Les Tuileries ? Let’s dream about it…
ROMAIN: The project of my dreams would be a monumental sculpture achieved between two buildings. That the vacuum be filled by an imbalanced geometry. A real visual impact connecting art and architecture.