French artist Sébastien Preschoux’s (b. 1974) geometric ink drawings and yarn installations are known for both the exacting precision of their designs, and the rigorous manual labour that goes into creating each one. These handmade kinetic and optical artworks offer a sharp commentary on today’s culture where images are churned out and disposed with technological rapidity.
Preschoux draws on the values of the Bauhaus movement, which emphasises the fundamental importance of manual labour in art. He explains: “With a computer, you can make everything fast paced and flattering, everyone can fake it, so what’s the point? Nothing personal, nothing unique. The important thing is to have a tactile relationship with the material, to be able to dread the qualities and the defects.” His creative process is meditative, patiently unfolding the drawing to form a line or curve, or stretching a thread across space through a series of delicate gestures. While the works could easily pass for digital images or photomontages, it is the almost imperceptible “flaws” attributable to the inherently fallible nature of man’s hand that distinguish them. The furrows of the ink dug by the pencil points or the lines of punches left by the compass animate these works, giving them a sensuality that stands in contrast to the flatness of digital printing. Similarly, Preschoux adjusts the installations to their environment, finding inspiration in the natural flow of light, space and movements in nature. Photographed by Ludovic Le Couster, the images of these 3D pieces acquire a surrealness that brings the art closer to the viewer’s experiences and feelings.