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FABRICE HYBERT | 'Prototypes of Working Objects'
November 13th 2020
Gifted with a scientist’s mind and being an artist at heart, Fabrice Hybert has from the early eighties relentlessly aimed to examine the way we communicate and to mimic the endless linkages between ideas; a theme he refers to as the ‘the enormous reservoir of the possible’. To the artist, collective information and processes lead to outcomes, in the same way that a forest grows not just from a seed, but the unified input of the environment. In the series ‘Prototypes of working objects’, Hybert created bizarre mutations of everyday objects, theatrically tested by his collaborator, Elian Pine Carrington. Three photographic editions were released from ‘Deep Narcissus, POF No.2’.
by Henrik Riis
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
Early childhood memories have a profound impact on our lives. An enthusiastic amateur forester, Hybert’s father immensely enjoyed the hours spent in the nature to sow the seeds of trees, nurture and watch them slowly towering towards the sky. One day his father had to cut down a tree to make space for other trees and when he finally found the courage to do it, he wept as if it had been a family member passing away. To the father it was more than just a tree. Hybert still gets emotional when telling the story about his father - and in his artistic practice, trees, in all its shadows, have become a significant influence, both in their physical appearance as well as a metaphor; he draws trees, he often compares himself to a tree with stretched out branches to get hold of information, and the bright green colour from newly sprung velvety soft leaves are reflected in much of his work.

Hybert’s journey of developing into one of the most important conceptual artists in France, is comparable to his future artistic projects - not to be drawn as a straight line. In the early eighties he studied mathematics at the university in Nantes; a medium-sized industrial town at the estuary of the Loire river in Brittany, North-western part France, famous for its wines and châteaux from the peak of the renaissance. The logic of sciences and how to explore knowledge without limitations fascinated young Hybert. Eventually, it was an abstract work of art that got him onto another path in life. Alongside the main studies he entered a course at the Ecole des Beaux-arts in Nantes and joggled two studies for some time, painting watercolours of trees to pay for the tuition. Art had slowly but surely taken a hold of Hybert and become his main pursuit, but the scientific approach would shape his artistic practice throughout his life.
FABRICE HYBERT
Elian Pine Carrington, Mask from POF No.2, Deep Narcissus (1997), 2000

Edition of 200
50(w) x 34(h) cm
20.00(w) x 13.50(h) inches
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FABRICE HYBERT
Elian Pine Carrington, Mask from POF No.2, Deep Narcissus (1997), 2000

Edition of 200
50(w) x 34(h) cm
20.00(w) x 13.50(h) inches
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Fabrice Hybert (French, b. 1961)
50(w) x 34(h) cm
20.00(w) x 13.50(h) inches
Ilfochrome.

Stamped and numbered on verso.

Only 25 printed of the edition of 200.
Edition of 200
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
$ 360.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
Early pieces were clearly unrestricted scientific-based concepts navigating the vast plains of thinking processes as a scientist. In one of his first works, ‘Transformation of the World into a Thread’ (1980), the artist theorised the concept of the Earth’s density expressed as a single line, consisting of a hand-written-calculation of an inconceivable large number. A decade later Hybert followed the same train of thought in ‘The Islands’ (1989) in which the artist created a series of drawings and models imagining an architectural project to lower the sea levels to connect all continents of the planet. Hybert challenges the mind to interpret and resolve the complexity of reality in his constant search for possible, and not so possible, hypothesis.

In 1990, in less than a year after his graduation from the Ecole des Beaux-arts in Nantes, Hybert completed his first self-portrait; ‘Traduction’ (1991), or ‘Translation’, which would become one of his best known pieces. The indefinable twenty-five and a half tonnes bar of soap, resembling a large block of white marble, were exhibited around Europe transported on a truck customised to exhibit the sculptural piece without unloading it. Hybert saw this untraditional self-portrait as justifiable as a figurative one; he sculpted the bar of soap and thus it portrayed all cumulative information within him at the time. ‘Traduction’ would live up to its title of being a translation.

Up during the nineties, Hybert kept testing the boundaries of art, information and science. New technologies, such as GPS and the internet, became mainstream and the sudden abundance of easily available information played straight into the artist’s concept of how everything is formed by its contained information, in any form. As the large block of soap was essentially an extension of the artist - in the same way Hybert looked upon a forest as not just a group of trees; it was also the insects who live in it, the birds who sing from the canopies and the water falling from the clouds above it. All accumulated information is part of what it becomes, regardless if this is a human, a flower, a house - or a piece of art.
FABRICE HYBERT
Elian Pine Carrington, POF No.2, Deep Narcissus (1997), 2000

Edition of 200
50(w) x 34(h) cm
20.00(w) x 13.50(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
Your Offer *
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FABRICE HYBERT
Elian Pine Carrington, POF No.2, Deep Narcissus (1997), 2000

Edition of 200
50(w) x 34(h) cm
20.00(w) x 13.50(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
* Required fields
Fabrice Hybert (French, b. 1961)
50(w) x 34(h) cm
20.00(w) x 13.50(h) inches
Ilfochrome.

Stamped and numbered on verso.

Only 25 printed of the edition of 200.
Edition of 200
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
$ 360.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
The internet would form the backbone of Hybert’s next prestigious endeavour. As part of the millennium celebrations, the French government commissioned the artist to create a site-specific installation that involved the Arc de Triomphe in Paris; the first of its kind allowing the national monument being part of an art project. Inspired by the 18th century encyclopaedia, which was a printed compendium of historic knowledge, the artist saw the internet as the 21st century encyclopaedia; a fully dynamic pool of information of the unknown, nourished by the people using it. The Arc de Triomphe was a perfect site for what Hybert wanted to create. From the Arc, twelve of the Parisian boulevards radiate, forming a star pattern, nourishing the roundabout with traffic to and from the centre of the French capital. The artist surrounded the Arc with small gardens and flooded it with lime-green fluorescent light: an artificial green colour inspired by his love of trees and invented as part of his first solo exhibition, ‘Mutations’ (1986). True to the new online medium and Hybert’s conceptual idea about the accumulation of information, the light could be controlled through a website by users in Paris, Mexico City and Los Angeles.

Alongside his many projects, Hybert has over several years produced a series of ‘Prototypes d’object en fonctionnement’, or POF, meaning Prototypes of working objects. These sculptures are often wry mutations of banal everyday objects. ‘Swing’ (POF No 3, 1990) is a variation of a playground swing with the addition of two phallic bumps on the seat, one hard and one soft. Hybert offers these objects as sites of fluid shifting meaning. Viewers can interact with them to explore alternatives and unlikely ‘uses’. To encourage this kind of participation, the POF are employed as props in short videos featuring Hybert’s collaborator, Elian Pine Carrington, a flamboyant transvestite whose improvisational abilities lend these ‘tests’ a surreal and absurd quality.
FABRICE HYBERT
Elian Pine Carrington, Crutch from POF No.2, Deep Narcissus (1997), 2000

Edition of 200
34(w) x 50(h) cm
13.50(w) x 20.00(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
Your Offer *
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FABRICE HYBERT
Elian Pine Carrington, Crutch from POF No.2, Deep Narcissus (1997), 2000

Edition of 200
34(w) x 50(h) cm
13.50(w) x 20.00(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
* Required fields
Fabrice Hybert (French, b. 1961)
34(w) x 50(h) cm
13.50(w) x 20.00(h) inches
Ilfochrome.

Stamped and numbered on verso.

Only 25 printed of the edition of 200.
Edition of 200
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
$ 360.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
In three photographic works from the filming of ‘Deep Narcissus’ (POF No 2, 1997), Carrington scrutinises two objects, a diver’s mask with a mirror on the inside, and a hospital crutch with a children-bike rear-view mirror attached at the end of it, facing upwards. Carrington’s wonderful and investigative personality lends a great deal of humour to these bizarre objects. The title ‘Deep Narcissus’ clarifies the theme of reflection for the objects, referring to Narcissus, the son of the Greek god Cephissus, but Hybert goes further and subtitles each ‘Eau dort, Eau d’or, Odor’, meaning ‘Sleeping water, Golden water, Odor’. Referencing to water - it was, following to the myth, in a quiet lake where Narcissus saw his reflection and fell in love with his mirror image - the French artist openly plays with the identical intonations in his native language.

The nuances of Hybert’s mutated green colour in the backdrop of the photographs is by no means random. It connects the three pieces to his lifelong body of works inspired by nature.

Hybert’s broad artistic practice ranges from drawings, paintings and objects to installations, performances, travelling public artworks and videos. Through four decades, the artist’s works have been widely exhibited in group and solo exhibitions, museum shows and public installations - and today Hybert’s works are included in a long list of private and public collections. His presence at the 47th Venice Biennale in 1997 earned Hybert much acclaim for the setup of a working television studio within the French pavilion, in which the public could freely broadcast to the rest of the world. An installation he, as the youngest artist ever, was awarded the Golden Lion. Also known under the pseudonym Fabrice Hyber, without a “t”, the artist lives and works in Paris.

From the continuous series Prototypes of working objects, three photographic works were released in an exclusive collaboration between Fabrice Hybert and Eyestorm. The works, representing part of ‘POF No 2’, show Elian Pine Carrington examining two of Hybert objects. The editions of 200, from which only 25 of each were released, are printing as Ilfochrome - and stamped and numbered on verso.

You can find more information about the three print editions from the series ‘Prototypes d’Objects en Fonctionnement’ on Fabrice Hybert’s artist page here.
 
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