The word "suicidio" has decidedly nothing of the palindrome, as Charley Case reminds us with the title of his new exhibition: from left to right, he points to the act of giving oneself voluntarily to death; in the other direction, it contrarily signifies a rebirth, as well as suggesting the association with a flower. Does not the upside down drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, Study of a Hanged Man, summon up the shape of a rose? While other societies acknowledge the "social suicide" of those who, arriving at an advanced age, decide to withdraw from the world, such an attitude is broadly condemned in the West. Here, it is expected that all keep contributing to the idea of progress until all gives out. For Charley Case, though, it's the self-inflicted bullet to the capitalist system's head (not its foot), that's dispatched it to the bottom of the pit where it currently finds itself. This said, his reading of today's times is not focused on the political: is it not simply the end of a cycle, as predicted for 2012 in the Mayan calendar? A grand timepiece in guise of a screen, the large tondi figuring a crowd of personages engaged in never-ending motion, underscore the importance given by the artist to this temporal dimension. But circulation of this sort is also allied to geography: Charley Case arrays the representation of continents like so many vital organs of the same body; the migratory policies of industrialized countries now act as brakes to their harmonious development. In a washing machine, a video showing dolls turning upon themselves recalls the human drama of clandestine immigrants drowned at sea.
For Charley Case this "suicide" of the current, patriarchal system, announces the coming of a new world, this time matriarchal. Thus, Woman occupies pride of place in the artist's new production. In the series Endormies, she is associated with the vegetal element, a poetic illustration of notions of growth and decline that now so monopolize media attention. While resident-artist at the Casa d'Oro (Ariège), Case occupied a grotto that he designated as a midwives' ward (and not shamanic); the triptych video he made renders homage to maternity and to the line of "female guardians" of the venue - those of today, and those from thousands of years ago whose skeletal remains were found there. At each floor the exhibition, a human skull, carved by Charley Case, illustrates his vision of an existence of perpetual renewal.
Charley Case is also presenting some superb collaborative works (photography and video), made together with artists Thomas Israël, Xavier Berg, Chiki Lopez & Gustavo Carballo (MASALLA), and the artist groups FREETREE, and UÒU.