Regarding infinite variation of silence and motion

Robin Godde is a young artist born in Nancy, France in 1984. The structures made of gently bent wood, mirror, steel, wire, and cable have motion while keeping silence in the perfectly designed structure. Substances feel comfortable in the well-designed structure which has taken dynamics into account. When we move our eyes following the angle of the structure, the inherent motion becomes alive according to the bending angle. All works of Robin Godde gradually have a psychological ripple effect on the stationary calmness and lead us into a different dimension. That is a variation which makes vibrations of conflict and reconciliation in every moment between imperceptibleness and infiniteness, greatness and littleness, and silence and motion.

The works of Robin Godde cross over the spaces of personal secret garden, public garden, cathedral, church, remains, garage, square, and well-organized and sophisticated gallery to feed vibrant energy into the whole city. An artist’s work is the fruit of sensitive meditation.
It is architectural, physical, and structural. In addition, it is a horizontal time. It is also poetical and meditative at the same time. On the other hand, it is vertical time. But then, when does the vertical time come? It comes when an audience is encouraged and carried away by the artist’s intention. Also, only when the audience experiences the poetical time, he/she gets to see Robin’s will for art. All art works are made based on harmony in a space. His work starts from the will to make a quality change by transforming the whole daily spaces to be a poetical time in the first place.

Unlike Asians, Westerners have two big tradition of meditation. First one is daily life and the second is amusement. Life is Jewish tradition. It is what Georg Whilhelm Friedrich Hegel talked about labor of six week days and meditation of weekend. People work for the six days and spend one day doing worship. Worship is an unworldly stage where people get out of the relationship of gain and loss in daily life and enter into pure meditation. Amusement is Greek tradition. It is what academy is all about. Academy aims for getting out of practical “praxis” and getting into a world of “theoria” that can be attained through pure intuition and training of concept. That is a stage of theory and thoughts. All of Robin’s works stop us from the horizontal time in a daily space and take us to the vertical time of theoria and meditation.

It is meaningful to look into Jonah complex in order to understand Robin Godde. Jonah complex is the main theme of La poetique l’espace of Gaston Bachelard announced in 1957. We subconsciously remember the time when we lived in our mother’s womb. We feel peaceful and cozy when we are covered with something soft and warm. Although it is a realistic life to cover us with rooftop, walls, and bridges from the nature, it can be viewed as human being’s will to reproduce the memory of the beginning. In this regard, Robin’s works that cut through the city spaces in a pure way which is incomparable to architecture and civil engineering are very theoretic. Robin makes us calm and creates an opportunity for people to communicate with each other. Therefore, Robin’s works are very beautiful channel, leading people to the world of purpose from the world of means.

Lee, Jin-myung, Curator and critics at Gansong Art and Culture Foundation,
South-Korea, December 2016
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       Si le travail du sculpteur est une affaire de forme, il s’agit aussi d’une affaire d’espace, devenu matière à composer autant que la matière que l’on y installe. Et si Robin Godde a débuté sa pratique sculpturale dans des dimensions réduites de maquettes et des matériaux simples, celle-ci prend une nouvelle ampleur lorsqu’il s’empare des potentialités de matières souples et cependant résistantes, utiles pour conquérir une envergure d’installation et de spatialité supplémentaire.
Dès lors, ces possibilités nouvelles et les contraintes qui y sont associées présentent des réponses et des solutions mécaniques propices à l’expansion recherchée.
Cherchant à déployer le volume de la sculpture au maximum en regard du volume de l’espace disponible à investir, l’emploi qu’il fait désormais du fer à béton, matière avec laquelle il négocie une position d’écoute et d’échange, répond à cette recherche de propagation, à cette quête de projection des distances rendue possible par une approche physique de la matière convoquée.

JU, dont le titre est un emprunt à l’art martial japonais de la souplesse, est ici une étape évolutive de la pièce intitulée D’un bout à l’autre exposée en 2011-2012 à la Halle Verrière de Meisenthal et en 2014 à la Kunsthaus Baselland. Attentif à la réaction du matériau en fonction du lieu, Robin Godde a le souci de développer ses compositions de manière in situ, de sorte qu’elles se trouvent modifiées selon leur contexte de monstration, compte tenu par ailleurs des déformations progressives que les accidents potentiels impriment dans le corps brut et l’apparence brutaliste des matériaux.
Dès lors si le dessein de la courbe, de sa souplesse et de son élégance demeure, compte tenu de la suspension des fers à béton qui trouvent à prendre position par leur propre poids, le dessin dans l’espace qui en résulte n’est jamais identique. Il l’est d’autant moins en fonction des points de vue que le regardeur peut occuper du fait du rapport de tension permanent entre construction et représentation qu’installe une matérialité non négligeable et de laquelle procède un effet de légèreté trompeur qu’il faut vérifier selon l’environnement de rencontre qui y est associé.
Par un « travail d’équipe » bien plus que de confrontation que l’artiste négocie avec cette matière et son environnement, la sculpture de Robin Godde contribue à faire habiter un espace de tension et d’attention positive là où le caractère esthétique de l’ornement pourrait faire office de repoussoir. Et s’il y a image d’un équilibre sensible ici, il n’est finalement pas tant question de représentation que de fixation d’un état sinueux de corps, paradoxalement mis en mouvement et qui, en retour, met en mouvement celui du témoin de cette dérive autant à regarder qu’à parcourir.

Mickaël Roy, curateur et critique d’art,
Texte écrit à l’occasion de l’exposition 0(ff)15, Mulhouse Art Contemporain, juin 2015
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       Robin Godde’s artistic practice draws on disciplines related to construction: architecture, set design, large scale art projects and the building sites related to them. The elements included in his installations are unrefined and few in number: steel rods, wooden platforms or slats, straps, cables, cable clamps, wire-strainers. Such items are normally used for arming, stowing, fixing, resisting ; for anticipating falls and preventing ruptures. In the field of construction they are subordinated to an end or construction that they enable; here they become valuable in their own right.

When Robin Godde uses steel or wood, it is not their hardness or their ability to support or reinforce another element that is in play but rather their ductility and propensity to curve under their own weight, their capacity to react or interact with the conditions imposed on them despite an apparent rigidity.
His constructions carry nothing, they support no mass: on the contrary they are mostly supported by the structure of the host space. They use it to maintain themselves, restrain themselves, right themselves, and deploy themselves in a silent choreography.

In each place he fills with these steel rods, a supple and energetic trace crosses the space, responding to the orthonormal rigour of the architecture: lines burst forth and take off, forming a vista that is both ample and restrained.
The rods wander in all directions, regroup to form tentacular bouquets, branching out once again to feel their way around the space a little further on, progressing through the space in a rapid, fugitive meander.
Something akin to a drawing takes shape that represents nothing in particular but seeks balance, exploring the given space along with its own possibilities in terms of resistance, distribution of energy and support and anchorage between floor and ceiling. The lines, which are sometimes calm and sometimes manic, are crossed by antagonistic forces, moulded by points of tension.

Aerial, flying, at first glance apparently floating, the drawing nevertheless weighs down on the space. Although these installations are graphic in some way, it is not just a matter of trace : the steel rods are raised, suspended: snatched from gravity, forced to rise up.

Mickaël Gamio, Artist,
Text written for the Vendôme Luxury Art exhibition, September 2015
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