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The first reference monograph on Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, this publication offers a thorough overview of their singular practice and critical work. For 25 years they have been developing—under a double name voluntarily without conjunction—an unclassifiable body of work between sculpture and live practice based on short, often repetitive actions carried out at first only by Marie Cool, but later also by others in confined spaces (studio, exhibition space) using common objects from standard work environments (sheets of A4 paper, adhesive tape, pencils, office tables) and natural elements such as water or sunlight. Carried out in silence, these actions take the form of simple gestures and short interventions: moving pencils at a regular rhythm, holding two A4 sheets of paper against each other, pouring a bottle of water on a desk, or following the sun reflected by a glass. The themes of ownership, precariousness, and the subjection of the body to the material world underlie their rigorous and modest work. Their practice has recently taken on an installative dimension in relation to the exhibition space, thus offering the audience a space for exchange and reflection in relation to the stakes of today’s society and the experience we make of it.
Edited and introduced by Laurence Schmidlin, curator of the artists’ exhibition at MCBA Lausanne, the book includes a comprehensive repertoire of their actions since 1995 as well as three essays by curator and writer Pierre Bal-Blanc, Hammer Museum Chief Curator Cornelia H. Butler, and art critic and curator Adam Szymczyk.
Marie Cool (1961, Valenciennes, France) and Fabio Balducci (1964, Ostra, Italy) live and work in Paris and Pergola. They recently exhibited at CAPC, Bordeaux, 2019; La Verrière/Fondation Hermès, Brussels, 2018; documenta 14, Athens and Kassel, 2017; Museion, Bolzano, 2014; Le Consortium, Dijon, 2013; On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, MoMA, New York.
Published with the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, on the occasion of the solo exhibition of Marie Cool Fabio Balducci in Summer 2022.