The poetic and intriguing works of Sean Hart
Exploring the limits between conceptual art and urban art, French mixed media artist Sean Hart creates poetic and intriguing works, ranging from photography and installation to performance and video.
With each piece, he invites us to a visual and interactive journey between poetry and politics, fiction and documentary.
What we like most about Sean Hart’s works is his approach to ask daring questions, writing his personal diary on the streets and sharing it in the most sincere way with his spectators. Each work becomes a powerful statement, that the viewer has the opportunity to decipher in his own language.
So, welcome to Sean’s universe of the unspoken, fiction, even oneirism, yet always strongly anchored in reality.
Selfportrait, July 14th, 2010, Paris, France.
In his “Do Not Litter” project, Sean Hart occupies the Parisian subway, illegally covering advertising space on the subway platforms or in the subway corridors with posters, “huge pamphlets” (flyers), printed in black and white on 80g paper. The title, “Do Not Litter”, comes from article L541-10-1 of the French code of Civil Procedure for the environment, a compulsory note to appear on any flyer. The choice of the black and the white is in in itself an act, a provocation, as the law that stipulates that to avoid any risk of confusion, posters in black and white are reserved for public authorities.
Ne pas jeter sur la voie publique / Do not Litter, 2014.
The works from the series “Greetings from Jozi” are presented in impressive bright boxes, like giant advertising posters. This type of presentation was inaugurated by contemporary photographer Jeff Wall, whose photos could be qualified as “cinema photos” in as far as they are the result of finely calculated scenarios, giving the illusion of a documentary photograph or a picture of “reality”.
Greetings from Jozi, 2013 / The texts are from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and are written in English, Zulu (the most spoken language in South Africa) and also in French (in the French-speaking Congolese district of Johannesburg).
Here is one of the videos part of the “Equilibrium” project, showing a young man living in the Hillbrow (district in Johannesburg) who plays a magic trick and tries to balance a knife on part of his body.
“Permanent Drift” is a “fictional” self-portrait in the form of a photo-novel: “The choice of setting refers to Plato’s allegory of the cave, an allegory that uses language full of images to show how man can obtain knowledge about reality, as well as the no less difficult task of the transmission of this knowledge”.
The texts are written by the artist or borrowed from authors such as Gil Scott Heron, Andreï Tarkovski, Jim Jarmusch, Jim Morrison, Jean-Paul Delore, Léo Ferré, and Angela Davis.
Regarding the colors used for the project, the artists explains that “in nature, midnight blue, sometimes called indigo blue or deep blue, is found in the maritime world, well off the coast, where the ocean dives
into the abysses of an unexplored world. It is also present in the limitless night-sky. The essential and natural needs connected to the midnight blue are those of integration, abstraction, sleep, darkness, unity, and harmony”.
Permanent drift, 2012
“Shine” composes a mental journey: “For the first time I used anamorphosis, the «art of the secret perspective», creating deformed images that can be recomposed from a pre-established and privileged point of view (…). For the first time I used color, blue, and it came to me naturally for diverse reasons: blue comes from the ancient Old High German «lao» = Shining. Blue symbolizes infinity and is an invitation to dreams and spiritual escapes. By extension, it evokes peace and sensual delight. Blue is also the color of blood (under the skin), the shade night and also refers to the «blues». «Blue» is also a Joni Mitchell album on which the song «All I want» has the following lyrics: «I am on a lonely road and I am traveling, looking for the key to set me free».”
The title of this work – “Yes Future!” – refers to the Punk slogan “No Future”, without contradicting it: “Most of the time we forget to mention that this slogan, if characteristic of the Punk movement (born at the end of 1970s) quotes only the first two words of the complete sentence which is: “No future for you!”. Yelled out by the Sex Pistols, this invective calls for revolt against the established order and bourgeois morality. The “Punk philosophy” is characterized by the spirit of subversion, “D.I.Y – Do it yourself”, the misappropriation of codes, mockery, the implementation of «alternative» structures, anti-capitalism, maximum freedom for the individual and the implementation of a living environment with the fewest limitations possible”.
All images © Sean Hart, who we also thank for the extra info about his projects.
View more works on his website.