In his new solo exhibition in Athens, French artist Eric Stephany continues his enquiry in the sculptural potential of found objects and their connection to sentiments and psychological states. The exhibition Shores of Confidence at One Minute Space is the first chapter of Trust, a project by Eric Stephany that has been awarded a grant by the National Centre of the Plastic Arts (CNAP) in France.
Made of plastic, metal, rock and glass collected from public spaces in and around Athens, the sculptures at the exhibition are intentionally assembled in a manner that their elements are not bound or fixed to one another, but stand, hang and balance only by means of gravity and tension. A warning note handed to visitors as they enter the space points out this instability of the sculptures, as well as their “legal ambiguity”, since some of them were removed from public space without permission.
Two heavy lock chains owned by the artist were stripped of their cladding and carefully balanced on the wall, coiled like robotic spines (Reliance and Confidence, both 2022). Marble rocks found in nature were carved and processed by the artist to look like lost fragments from ancient monuments; one of them, picked up in Anafi, is precariously suspended above visitors’ heads in a chain loop hanging from a large carpenter’s clamp affixed to a column («8QXX+664 Anafi, Greece», 2022). A neon sculpture that spells the Greek word και (and) is part of an ongoing series of light works that are based on a poem the artist wrote in Greek, as an intentional exploration into the visual and linguistic lapsus that emerged from his experience of learning a new language.
Along the longest wall of the gallery space, the work Shores of confidence (2022) consists of hundreds of green and white pieces of sea glass, collected patiently over several years from beaches around Greece by the artist and his friends. An evocative and tender gesture that traces the artist’s journeys, the work seems to spill out of the wall like a calm, splashing wave on a beach — capturing in a crystallised instant the ebb and flow of confidence, solidarity, and trust that make artistic practices sustainable during times of precarity.
There will be a reading with the artist for the closing event on Saturday 26 February, at 20:00.