Aurélien Froment

Museum Leuven
Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28
June 11–November 5

View of “Aurélien Froment: Double Tales,” 2017. From left: Quodlibet II, 2017; Non alignés (Fatim Diop) (Non-Aligned [Fatim Diop]), 2016.

Aurélien Froment’s solo exhibition is titled “Double Tales,” which is certainly apropos to the duality on display across four large rooms in this newly refurbished museum. Quodlibet II, 2017, is a sculptural rendition of a musical medley that takes the form of reed instruments suspended from nylon thread. It is presented alongside Non alignés (Fatim Diop) (Non-Aligned [Fatim Diop]), 2016, and Chant du Monde (Song of the World), 2017, which are intimate video portraits of Senegalese singer Amadou Badiane inspired by Bollywood music and dance sequences.

These intersections demonstrate Froment’s capacity to approach his subjects from multiple unexpected vantage points. The series “Tombeau Idéal de Ferdinand Cheval” (The Ideal Funeral Monument of Ferdinand Cheval), 2014, is a photographic story of the lifework of a nineteenth-century postman who built the ideal tomb for himself and his wife, stone by stone. In the same room, and resonating on the other side of a partitioned wall and curtain, is the video Apocalypse, 2017, a meticulous examination of the imposing titular fourteenth-century tapestry at the Château d’Angers in France.

The artist’s latest work––installed in the last room of the show––stands alone and therefore offers an interesting speculation as to what direction the impressive multilayered incongruence of the artist’s practice can take. Allegro Largo Triste, 2017, is a video of a Sardinian musician and master launeddas player training his apprentices in an uninterrupted flow of music on a pastoral hillside. His style and instrument are so particular that there exists no system of tabulation for what he does, a feat not so dissimilar to the unique qualities of this artist’s own work.

— Huib Haye Van Der Werf