“Under soil Mapping”
Medium wood, boxwood, asphalt, epoxy (2020)
Theo Guicheron-Lopez’s sculptural work is based on the idea of diversion, where he manipulates and disfigures recuperated pavement. What is supposed to be permanently fixed and designed with irreproachable efficiency is repurposed, becoming a substance for experimentation. Guicheron-Lopez meticulously encrusts, glues, or even carves the pavement like stone. Wood becomes a receptacle on the verge of overflowing, highlighting the disrupted anthropized world; the artist destabilizes the largest medium of human flows.
Questioning our relationship to oil, Guicheron-Lopez scrutinizes more and more closely what is flooding us blindly today. The concrete surface that he wishes to evoke is at first so monotonous that it seems challenging to imagine its historicity.
The earth under the road network, under the city, resurfaces to question what binds us physically. He develops a visual and poetic language around a material that we touch every second yet never name.
The asphalt network reinforces the fragmentary aspect of the world.
How does this petroleum-based artificial rock radically change our relationship with cartography? Some would say that it is necessary to “damage” the earth to stay physically connected at all times.
« When I look at a road map and notice the complexity, the span of the network, I can’t help but think of the billion liters of asphalt spilled. This cartographic material par excellence creates the link between human beings, and we cannot imagine our worlds without it. I have recently become interested in mapmaking as a medium that captures memory, linking the arrangement of the world and our mental representations. I extract real elements from the map (pieces of sidewalks and roads), which allows me to talk about the precise locality of the materials in front of us. Where do we get the gravel, the sand, and the oil under our feet? »