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ZAVEN PARÉ. We are the Robots

 

Robots have always fascinated us and inspired many artists. Already in 1978, Kraftwerk, the pioneers of electronic music, perfectly caught the intricate links between human beings and machines in their seminal song “We are the Robots”. Even in their live performances, they confused the audience, sometimes dressing up and moving like robots, sometimes being replaced by them. Since then, this trend has taken us a lot further. More and more human actions and activities are being carried out by machines with artificial intelligence, and the perspectives are infinite.

Zaven Paré has been exploring the boundaries between humanity and technology throughout his long and successful career. In his works, he uses a wide array of media, painting, drawing, collage and sculpture, as well as video and performance. In all his artistic creations, we can directly identify his signature, reflecting both the mechanical side of our daily lives and the human touch that technology may sometimes have, at least in our perception. The results are “vulnerable and fragile machines that run against the tide of digital arts and poetically flirt with the idea of failure”, as stated by Dominique Roland in a recent catalogue.

Zaven studied art and literature in his native France, followed by postdoctoral research at the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory in Osaka. Since then, he has not only pursued his art work and his in-depth research in both science and anthropology, but also collaborated extensively with opera and theatre, choreographers, composers, and musicians, including Maurizio Kagel and David Bowie.

For more than three decades, he has been living and working in Brazil, but also travels a lot in pursuit of his manyfold and very diverse artistic and scientific activities. His work has not been shown in Brussels for almost ten years, and so we are very pleased to present a selection of his recent paintings and sculptures, in kind collaboration with Galerie Charlot, Paris, who has been representing Zaven since 2012.

Robots are clearly the common theme of this exhibition, and we will discover many different facets of them, sometimes more directly, sometimes less. While we see them right in front of us in the paintings and watercolors, the masks and sculptures selected for this show only reveal their faces at second sight. Or, as Kraftwerk described it, we are facing a “Man-Machine, Semi-Human Being”.

In the most recent works, shown here for the first time, Zaven’s robots are already gone by, leaving us with a strange impression of both déjà-vu and things-to-come, oscillating somewhere between the past and the future.

Text: Robert Klotz

More information: www.zavenpare.com

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