CLÉMENT BEDEL
Shimmering Through Reality
(Serbian below)


      Looking at «Shimmering Through reality », Clément Bedel ́s new series of paintings, one might bring to mind the apocalyptic films highly present in our culture at the turn of the millennium which questioned the continuity of our planet and put in doubt the human existence on earth. Science fiction is closely related to the anxieties and fears of our times and tries to give us a warning about possible scenarios if we do not act upon the way our planet and our lives are treated. The culture of fear is ever present and preoccupations have varied throughout history, from slavery during Colonialism through infiltration and nuclear weapons during the Cold War to the terrifying technological advancement and refugee crises of today. each time culture has its own fears but Bedel ́s series seems to evoke a rather universal perspective of a global issue. The images can be viewed as possible scenarios for part ii  of « I am legend », « Deep impact » or « Armageddon ». Scenarios and not scenes. Devoid of hollywood aestheticised characters (which appeal to audiences but render the exercise futile since usually the characters we see on the big screen do not exist), they serve as a background for the story. Bedel ́s human presence is not only more realistic but also more convincing and therefore poignant. The human presence (or rather absence) fills the paintings with nostalgia, because it is what has been done in the past that we are contemplating rather than a dystopian vision of the future that awaits us. Sadly enough these images are closer to the reality lived in places far away from the hollywood production, and the human disintegration that follows is undeniably already a thing of the present.

      On another note the series through its oneiric atmosphere rather evoke scenes closer to Christopher nolan ́s film ̈inception ̈. We live in a dream-like atmosphere in which we do not know anymore what is real and what is not. The truth is hidden from us in the perpe-tual presence of media wars and political propaganda. naomi Klein ́s « Shock Doctrine » and its strategy points to the duality or rather plurality of realities which unfold in front of our eyes but we cannot see and therefore we need guidance, or someone who will speak the truth to us, or provide us with new food for thought since we seem to forget in the array of (dis)information we are given. The artist ́s approach is not so different from the role leonardo DiCaprio has as protagonist in the feature film: he wishes to install a new idea. This thought can be disturbing and dazzling at the same time, it is the realisation of humanity ́s outreach and it presents itself in an attempt to awaken us by living our own death. as it is the case in the film, the best way to wake up is to die in your own dream. Perhaps we have to envisage the total apocalypse, where some other non-human creatures take over, in order to re-think our future and be able to come up with solutions accordingly. Bedel does not give us an answer as to what we ought to do but he does give us hope, either through an invitation to enter a deeper stage of our worldwide passive dream in which humanity is unable to help itself or by creating yet another scenario to reflect on and pursue action that will serve as a trigger. A future not so lost but born anew with the presence of organic forms derived from nature, those without a consciousness that have been able to survive. In the same way that film has the power to mirror the he harsh realities of modern society, Bedel has chosen an even more appropriate and human medium, that of painting, closer to the human emotion and everyday life, not dictated by strategy and away from smokescreens. Films containing this subject are filled with elements away from reality in order to shock, stupefy and amuse the audience in the pursuit of capital gain, which is a paradox; Bedel ́s work is stripped of any wish to satisfy a public, it rather seeks to inform it trying to grasp reality and speak about a truth. We have failed in the management of our political, economic, natural and societal order and despite our mistakes we continue to do so. maybe this eternal now is already a fraction of apocalypse itself, a fraction because there is hope for it to be restored.


Anja Obradović, Hestia Art Residency & Exhibitions Bureau, Belgrade, 2019




Shimmering Through Reality


    Posmatrajući „Shimmering Through reality“, novu seriju slika Klementa Bedela, lako bismo se mogli prisetiti apokaliptičnih filmova, izuzetno prisutnih u našoj kulturi na prelazu milenijuma, koji ispituju kontinuitet naše planete i dovode u pitanje ljudsko postojanje na Zemlji. Naučna fantastika je blisko povezana sa anksioznostima i strahovima našeg doba, i pokušava da nas upozori na potencijalne scenarije koji bi mogli da se dogode ukoliko ne reagujemo zbog na- čina na koji su naša planeta i naši životi tretirani. Kultura straha je sveprisutna a preokupacije su se menjale tokom istorije, od ropstva tokom kolonijalizma, preko infiltracije i nuklearnog oružja tokom hladnog rata do zastrašujućih tehnoloških napredaka, i migrantske krize danas. Svaki put kultura je imala svoje strahove, ali Bedelova serija radova daje univerzalnu perspek- tivu globalnom problemu. Slike mogu da budu sagledane kao mogući scenariji za nastavak filmova « Ja legenda », « Duboki udar », « armagedon », Scenariji, ali ne scene. lišene holivudski estetizovanih karaktera (koji privlače publiku ali i radnju čine uzaludnom, s obzirom na to da likovi koje vidimo na velikom ekranu ne postoje),one služe kao pozadina za radnju. Bedelovo ljudsko prisustvo ne samo što je realističnije, već je i ubedljivije što ga čini dirljivim. ljudsko prisustvo (ili pre odsustvo) ispunjava slike nostalgijom, zato što je daleko pre slika onoga što je urađeno u prošlosti i nad čime kontempliramo, nego što je distopijska predstava buduć- nosti koja nas čeka. Tužno, ove slike jesu bliže realnosti ljudi koji žive u mestima udaljenim od holivudske produkcije, a dezintegracija ljudi koja to prati je nesumnjivo već postala pitanje sadašnjosti.

  S druge strane, serija radova svojom oniričkom atmosferom daleko pre podseća na scene bliske nolanovom filmu « Početak » (Inception). mi živimo u atmosferi koja nalikuje snu i u kojoj više ne znamo sa sigurnošću šta je stvarno a šta ne. istina je skrivena od nas sveprisutnim medijskim ratovima i političkom propagandom. «Doktrina šoka » naomi Klajn, i njegova strategija, ističu dualnost koja se odvija ispred naših očiju ali koju ne možemo da vidimo, i zbog čega nam je potrebno vođenje, ili neko ko će nam govoriti istinu, ili nam obez- bediti novu hranu za um jer se čini da zaboravljamo, u mnoštvu (dez)informacija koje su nam date. Umetnikov pristup nije mnogo različit od uloge koju je leonardo Dikaprio imao kao protagonista filma: on želi da instalira novu ideju. Ova ideja može biti uznemirujuća i očarava- juća u isto vreme, ona je realizacija ljudskih dosega, i predstavlja nam se kroz pokušaj da nas prodrma, življenjem sopstvene smrti. Kao što je i slučaj u filmu, najbolji način da se probudi je da se umre u sopstvenom snu. možda treba da zamislimo totalnu apokalipsu, gde su neka ne-ljudska bića preuzela kontrolu, da bismo promislili svoju budućnost i bili sposobni da iza- đemo sa pravim rešenjima. Bedel ne daje odgovor šta bismo trebali da uradimo, ali daje nadu, ili kroz pozivanje da se uđe u dublji stadijum svetskog pasivnog sna, u kom je čovečanstvonemoćno da pomogne samo sebi, ili kreiranjem još jednog scenarija za promišljanje i traganje za akcijom koja će poslužiti kao okidač. Budućnost koja nije izgubljena, već rođena ispočetka uz prisustvo organskih formi iz prirode, onih bez svesti, koje su bile sposobne da prežive. U istom maniru kao što film ima moć da prikaže grubu realnost savremenog društva, Bedel je izabrao još prikladniji i ljudskiji medij, slikarstvo, bliže ljudskim emocijama i svakodnevnom ži- votu, koje nije uslovljeno strategijom i daleko je od dimnih zavesa. Filmovi sa ovom tematikom puni su elemenata koji su udaljeni od realnosti u cilju šokiranja, oduševljavanja i zabavljanja publike, a sve u potrazi za finansijskom dobiti, što je paradoks; a Bedelov rad je ogoljen bilo kakve potrebe da zadovolji publiku, već pre želi da informiše, da dokuči realnost, i govori o istini. nismo uspeli u upravljanju našim političkim, ekonomskim, prirodnim i društvenim siste- mom ali uprkos našim greškama nastavljamo da radimo isto. možda je ovo večno sada već mali deo same apokalipse, ali mali deo, zato što još uvek postoji nada da može biti obnovljen.


Anja Obradović, Hestia Art Residency & Exhibitions Bureau, Belgrade, 2019