Didier Marcel

Sans titre, 1997

Didier Marcel works on the exhibition procedures and arrangements of museographic apparatus (display cases, stands, etc.). The large number of half-empty “display cases”, which he produced in the late 1990s, thus extends a way of thinking about consumer goods, thereby considering sculpture as an art of the display stand and the commercial product. This work, which includes its own presentation arrangement, transforms the display case into a space of representation, itself accommodating a whole host of small objects akin to a valuable collection. However, these objects are just small geometric volumes, open on two sides, and very light, which form a dimension-less world, which Didier Marcel compares to a microcosm. These ambivalent elements conjure up just as much minimal sculptures, which are pure, objective and white, as “knick-knacks” carefully arrayed by a collector, or alternatively small preparatory maquettes. The ratio of scale which is introduced between container and contained, between objects and stand—which we find in a recurrent way in the artist’s work—may also refer the display case to the archetypal image of a modern glass building. Here again, Didier Marcel introduces a confusion between scale model and reality.

Nadine Labedade

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