Didier Courbot

27 October to 3 December 2011


Given his French citizenship, it is perhaps a reductive (and erroneous) tendency to call Didier Courbot a flâneur. Though his work is embedded in public realms, such as streets and parks, Courbot’s elegant site-specific responses indicate an unfailing generosity. Elsewhere, he conjures domestic spheres and other interiorities with sculptures and interventions that perpetuate a measured absorption of the everyday. Alongside the late artist Bas Jan Ader and others, critic Jörg Heiser named Courbot as part of a practice defined with a quaint oxymoron: romantic Conceptualism. As Heiser wrote in Frieze, “Instead of staging a Situationist disruption of urban space, Courbot over-affirms the conservative demand for private initiative in response to public needs, and exposes its ideological character in the sweetest way.” Though his actions are rooted in “good intentions”, Courbot’s invasions of public space are not devoid of politics. Using discarded or commonplace materials, his constructions and interventions (the work of a bricoleur) are distinctly anti-capitalist in their revaluing (or recycling) of material while also acting as spontaneous visual and spatial interruptions. At any rate, Courbot’s works are invitation to look and take stock of the everyday to find delight in its contents. Under the paving stones, the beach: Courbot locates undeniable warmth in these inanimate quotidian forms.