Details
Gilles Barbier (b. 1965)
Vaseline Onirique
painted resin
6¾ x 7½ x 1⅝in. (17 x 19 x 4cm.)
Executed in 2006, this work is a unique variation from a series of five

Provenance:
Galerie Bonneau-Samames, Marseilles.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Exhibited:
Nîmes, Carré d'Art, Musée d'art contemporain de Nîmes, Gilles Barbier, 2006 (another version exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 54).

Literature:
P. Sterckx, Gilles Barbier: un abézédaire dans le désordre, Paris 2008 (another version illustrated in colour, p. 269).

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Please note this lot is the property of a private collector.

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Please note this lot is the property of a consumer. See H1 of the Conditions of Sale.
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Lot Essay



An eerily lifelike banana skin lies discarded, browning and askew. Vaseline Onirique (2006), like Gilles Barbier’s recurring use of his own ageing likeness over twenty-five years and his famed series of elderly superheroes, seems to speak of the inevitable pathos of the passage of time. Through his conceptual practice, however, it becomes something of a talisman: in addition to the banana skin’s standard cartoonish, humorous connotations, it is also a key element in Barbier’s absurdist sculptural vocabulary. ‘Sliding,’ he says, ‘is an activity and a way of thinking that makes it possible to skirt contradictions and lubricate differences, not in order to produce closed syntheses, but so as to experience their extremities, the two ends, a space that cannot be broken down’ (G. Barbier quoted in P. Berckx, Un Abézédaire dans le désordre, Paris 2008). Vaseline Onirique translates as ‘Dreamlike Vaseline,’ emphasising this idea of lubrication: by embracing its material paradox and incongruity, the object slips the viewer into a new world of reverie and imaginative freedom.

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