Stiff Peaks

A solo show of new work by Nicolas Deshayes at the two Jonnys'

20 Feb - 27 Mar 2010
PV 19 Feb / 6-9pm


Imagining the The two Jonnys' project space's interior - with whitewashed brickwork and
original warehouse window features - as a possible backdrop for a ubiquitous TV cookery
program, Nicolas Deshayes presents a quasi mise en scene of new works that explore
what he describes as "stylised potential".

Two photographs taken in the style of weekend newspaper food supplements, oozing
and shining in a cosmetic depiction of raw materiality and mounted onto curved aluminium
panels shaped like open publications flank the wall of the lobby. They act as a corporate
introduction to what may lie ahead.
The central work, a pair of knee high stainless steel catering worktops placed at awkward
angles accommodate a dough-like concoction that appears to be spilled and extruded
from one onto the other. Ice-white and made from a single vacuum-formed sheet of thin
acrylic, the sharpness of this object jars with the mess that is suggested by its sprawling
form. Looking down from three feet above, what at first appeared as a synthetic relic of a
performative act becomes a scaled model of a seismically ruptured landscape, or even an
example of parametric architecture, evoking an ambition far greater than the confines of
the tabletop.

Another feature in the space is a minimal composition of powder-coated steel panels, wall
mounted and curved to approximate the form of a coveted shiny designer fridge. Hinge-less
and heavy this prop has no purpose in real time other than a visual scenic device.
Catching the light, what appears to be a dribble of olive oil or a smear of industrial
lubricant on the white surface of the metal lends a raw authenticity and a human touch to
the starkness of this perfect curve. However, upon closer inspection, this imperfection
reveals itself as a self-adhesive vinyl cut out which further questions the integrity of the
information presented.

Overall it seems like something is in the process of being demonstrated, yet the stage
lacks its protagonist. There are suggestions of manipulation but the industrial prevails
over the handmade. Ultimately the precarious veneer of this carefully designed economy
of desire is revealed.

Nicolas Deshayes is based in London. In 2009 he featured in exhibitions at Domobaal,
London and Walden Affairs in The Hague (NL) as well as showing with MOOT at Zoo
2009 and Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2009. He has forthcoming solo exhibitions at
Concrete at the Hayward Gallery and Ka.Be Contemporary, Miami and is developing a
collaborative touring project with artist Ed Atkins.

Ed Atkins has been commissioned to present a text work that will accompany
the exhibition. He is an artist and writer based in London.

download PDF version of press release HERE
email for info, queries and hi res images /

_ _