Interview with the gallery Ex Machina, for the exihibition « Man and Machine » in Barcelona (Spain).
For those who don’t know you: Who is Edouard Dullin?
I am a sculptor living in the city of Versailles (you may have heard about the Palace!), near Paris, France. I have a background in fine arts, and especially in clay sculpture modeling. In the past few years, I worked as a computer graphic designer, programming professor, art teacher and all these facets have nourished my artistic approach. The collection of sculptures that I am crafting aims to show the different points of view of the relationship between humans and digital technologies.
What were your first thoughts when our gallery that specializes in Man & Machine themes invited you for an exhibition?
I was very excited because my collection <digital /> fits perfectly within this theme. I grew up at the same time as the digitalization of the society. I was born ‘disconnected’, without internet, without smartphone, without computer in every home. The digital revolution and the great changes in our society took place during my adolescence.
Entering the working world, I completely integrated these technologies into both my professional life and artistic inspiration. After having taught computer-assisted publication, web-design, computer programming and the digital issues and impacts, it became clear that the sociological influence of this transformation would be my favorite theme of artistic expression.
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Everything starts with an idea – sometimes very abstract – that I want to materialize, to convert into a concrete volume. The challenge here is to model an impalpable, immaterial and evolving concept with a solid and inert matter. In my approach, the technological tool, stemming from years of research and engineering, is released from its condition of object to become, as absorbed, a part of ourselves. The deformation of bodies is like an invitation to explore the limits of our humanity. The lines of my sculptures form a streamlined mesh, perfect symbiosis of the real and the virtual. I am very attentive to the precision of the curves and I work relentlessly until I see the right path for the shadows and the lights.
“My work shows the rapid rise of digital technology in our societies and how new technologies are shaping our bodies and minds.”
Do you interact with the digital world/technology in your work?
Some of my sculptures deliberately recall the mesh of 3D modeling, but I’m sketching only with pencil and paper because I don’t get the same results when I work with a modeling software. I would say that the digital world is my main source of inspiration, support of my thoughts, but when producing a piece of art, I use only an archaic technique – clay modeling – which is one of the first materials used by humanity in art history!
What visual references do you draw upon in your work?
I find my inspiration both in ancient or primitive representations and in modern art with some sculptors that I really appreciate. In order to pick only a few examples:
- Joanna Allen, for the remarkable sensitivity of her stroke that probes the soul state of her portraits,
- Tony Matelli, for showing a joyous casualness toward traditional art and cultural heritage,
- David Altmejd, for being a limitless sculptor, in both of his very disturbing expressiveness and in the mix of techniques and materials used.
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