Xavier Mary – Victory over the Sun
Spanning fifteen years of artistic practice, this monograph derives its title from a 1913 avant-garde Cubo-Futurist opera celebrating the demise of the sun. It confronts us with the speculative state of reality after the end of the world, a barren ontological wasteland in which artifacts have lost their utility. In his work, Xavier Mary is concerned with the dreams and nightmares of modernity, resulting from its inherently industrial nature. The sense of an impending apocalypse or total destruction seems particularly topical for the current times. Where the Promethean nature of technology typically allowed humans to liberate themselves from the whims of nature (such as the limited availability of sunlight), this gift for self-preservation has now given way to the threat of self-annihilation. And yet, in the zero point of the apocalypse, an ontological truth is revealed: everything suddenly manifests itself in its inexorable materiality, a ghostly cosmos of autonomous objects.
In combining a thoughtful selection of exhibition views and text contributions by guest authors, Victory over the Sun offers the first comprehensive overview of Xavier Mary’s intriguing oeuvre.
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About the artist
Xavier Mary’s post-industrial sculpture and post-apocalyptic, mythical realism stand with one leg in the past and the other into the future. In a bold manner which almost suggests artificial intelligence to be landed into a prehistorical past, the Belgian artist interweaves elements of mythology and technology to create an ‘applied metaphysics 2.0’, wandering in an unorthodox style through history, present and future by reflecting on topics such as modern civilization, humankind, mass consumption and mystical idolatry in a visually poetical way that combines absurd cleverness with technological motorized skills. Born in 1982 in Liège, Xavier Mary lives and works in Brussels.