The Artsenal in Delémont, Switzerland.
ABOUT MAISON MDVANII
BillyBoy* & Lala:
"This exhibition is like a calling card: while we've been living in Switzerland for 15 years, we have finally chosen to settle down in Delémont , notably with the project of establishing a museum, and we first wanted to give to the public the chance to discover our creations with a selection of pieces covering about forty years of work." declare the artists. "Maison Mdvanii The title of the show, has several references:
- First to the French couture house, this historical and mythical institution which is at the origin of BillyBoy* own collection of high fashion and of course to the genesis of Mdvanii, the first fashion doll ever created for adults, which was a direct reference to high fashion in her early years.
- to the Vogueing movement , also defined as "ballroom Culture" invented by drag queens in the USA in the 80s, typical of the Latino & African-American culture of the 80s and 90s, with their defilés and walking mimicking the French High fashion show and elegance with a competition in fierce attitude, along with the new DJ's music, techno and electro*
- and at last, of the house itself. As a matter of fact, we have gathered an amount of our own furniture that we have used in our 30 years of life together, painted them all white and used them as an essential part of the exhibition,creating a stunning and very personal scenery."
*Sainte Glamour" Mdvanii and the ex-votos of desire and seduction.
"All isms are constructions."
The sculpture "The Last Supper" was shown here for the first time. The 19th-century engraving found in a dumpster in Delémont a month before the exhibit was included in the artwork by the artists and left as is with its broken glass.
A photograph cut in the Swiss daily newspaper Le Matin became a blown-up serigraphy and a new mdvaniiism.
The metaphysical futuristic protective dance dress.
The buildings of the "Liquid Screen" citadel.
EARTH WALK Mademoiselle Mdvanii which is covered in genuine eggshell lacquer and 24k gold leaf.
Kachinas Dolls, Maybe, 2008.
La Petite fille modèle dolls, a part of this doll making history of the artists was included in the Maison Mdvanii exhibition.
The souvenir cap of the Maison Mdvanii
designed by BillyBoy* & Lala (available in the Shop)
Special thanks to
Sumiko Watanabe Japan
Mdvaniiisms and Wicca
by Louis Ferdinand Reversi
For their eighth exhibition in Switzerland, the artists BillyBoy* and Lala have chosen the Espace Artsenal in Delémont, which is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Jura, Switzerland, where they have been living since August 2012.
This new exhibit named "Maison Mdvanii (pronounce Mid-vah-nee, the flyer states, for those who don't know yet) after the name of their egerie and muse, which was the fist fashion doll designed for adults in 1989 in Paris by BillyBoy*. Mdvanii became through the years a multi-dimensional and directional art expression, acknowledged in the world of discerning doll collectors as well as in the contemporary art world.
The poster of the exhibition pays homage to the famous fashion illustrator, Rene Gruau, who captured in his masterly style, the silhouette of Mdvanii as soon as 1989, which he offered as a gift to BillyBoy*. The allure and glamour of a poupée mannequin de luxe, in her landmark colours: black, white, turquoise and red for the lips.
The scenery of the exhibition, using several sets of furniture entirely white, is at the same time surrealistic and futurist, and is a statement about accumulation of objects and furniture that have survived so many moves from house to house, an allegory of the traveling of the artists duet life, which have also been partners in life for exactly 30 years the month of June, 2012. Each one of them, Art Deco dining table and matching chairs, 19th-century settee and bed table, bed sheets, screen, carpets, armchairs, lamps, books and magazines and even a few energy drinks cans of Red Bull, Coca Cola bottles, and crushed paper in the waste basket, each one of these "lived with" objects were part of the artists' life and are painted in white matt paint: "Each one of these objects has been a part of our life, recent or in the past. Very often, objects and furniture have had a story before us and sometimes will have one after us, especially when you find them at the flea market and that you give them away, because almost everything ends up in a flea market one day or another…These pieces gathered here can no longer serve as furniture, they are useless, they became artworks in themselves." "Objects simply wait for their time, they have many lives just like us, but unlike us, they have all the time in the world. They are your mirror." says Lala who adds: " there is even my generic felt hat and the work apron I used for almost 30 years, stiff as cardboard, it's wonderful!"
And here is a "Mdvaniiism" - mind you, with three "i's"- " A mdvaniiism is the 21st-century version of a Marcel Duchamp ready-made, but better" says BillyBoy*. Why? "A mdvaniism is not an impersonal object randomly chosen by the artist, such as Duchamp's famous urinal which was made intellectually stimulating by the artist's paradoxal and provocative discourse,. On the contrary, it is any object or concept directly or indirectly linked to Mdvanii herself, that we have glamorized in the true sense of the word, which means invested with Wiccan magic. Put under a spell, if you will."
As a matter of fact, each object, present in this scenery is no longer what it used to be, like white bones dried up in the sun, and seem to be part of a no-man's land or a set from a dream, which gives it a metaphysical dimension: it becomes an object of desire, embedded with power, which becomes the dream display and setting for Mdvanii and other related artworks.
Amongst many different artworks and sculptures, a selection of BillyBoy* & Lala big size photography featuring the dolls, which left their status of sculptures to become true characters of fiction, randomly leaning against the wall. Opposite, on the wall, a series of fashion photos of BillyBoy*'s haute couture Schiaparelli collection, worn by women of today: socialites, artists, such as Graf Celia von Bismark, the late and former ambassadrice of the Swiss Red Cross, or Elena Montessinos, contemporary artist from Geneva. These historic fashions worn on contemporary women transcend their own modernity.
George Braque said: "All isms are constructions". And it is a fact that each object within that scenography, turned into a "mdvaniiism" has gained, for the artists a symbolic and artistic status which is as relevant as the artworks themselves: sculptures, photography, jewelry, serigraphy….
The visitors that did not know the world of BillyBoy* and Lala were amazed by the dynamism and the creativity of this production which covered over 40 years of work, since the earliest work shown is a collage from Mr Modern, the neo futurist character invented and incarnated by BillyBoy* while he lived in Manhattan in the mid to late-70s and who, irony of it all, lived in a world of 50s and 60s furniture and artifacts, projected in the future. How vivid!
L.F Réversi 2012.
Selected Artworks from 1983 to 2012 in Maison Mdvanii
The futuristic-science fiction orientation of the Mdvanii world dates from BillyBoy* and Lala's first exhibition in Switzerland at La Maison d'Ailleurs in Yverdon-les-Bains at the invitation of its curator of the time, Patrick Gyger.
A selection of Mdvanii creations questioning the clothes of the future with many references to the glorious French Haute Couture past.
The utterly futuristic "Cyber Sexual" Mdvanii, created in 2005-2006. This more recent incarnation of Mdvanii is a larger version of the very first Mdvanii: she is usually in papier-mâché, but also sometimes in resin. She is roughly 30 centimeters high.
Mademoiselle Mdvanii and Dheei, porcelaine or papier mâché , 75 cm.
L'ORACLE Mdvanii, exhibited for the first time.
Collection of the Mudac, Lausanne
"Milk Boy" Rhogit-Rhogit, curated for the first time before leaving to Finland in a private collection.