Madison Bycroft

1987, Australia ; lives and works in Rotterdam and Paris

Papier-mâché Minotaur heads, molluscs with lolling tongues, people wearing make-up —these are the figures Madison Bycroft brings to life in videos, sculptures and performances. Often at the heart of theatrical arrangements, complete with their sets, fancy dress and monologues, these characters examine how we communicate between people, species, and the [im] possibilities of translating a word or an emotion. The artist’s attention recently focused on homophones, those words which sound similar, but have different spellings and meanings. Over and above the linguistic games that the homophone involves, it also has a formal and political dimension: beneath a superficial uniformity lurks a whole host of meanings; under one and the same banner, decidedly different identities can take shape.
M. Bycroft imagines this issue in International Waters, a new series of works on view in the Raymond Hains gallery in Saint-Brieuc. Using several vignettes, the film Jolly Rodgers and Friends (2018) tells, in particular, the story of two pirate women who board a boat disguised as men. The androgyny of the characters and the interplay of camouflage resonate with the rest of the installation which we make our way into by going on stage. Perched on it, as if we were the actors of the play, we are faced with several strange sculptures which turn out to be our own audience (Bad Crowd, 2018).
Once again we have to put ourselves in the middle of dead pan ham (2018), an installation created especially for the Musée des beaux-arts. All around, costumes and instrument-sculptures are so many stage props suspended in the potential of a moving presentation. With a swarm of limpets, they announce a performance designed to establish a “mollusk theory” (mollusk theory: anchorites take place inside dead pan ham, 2018).

En coproduction avec / co-produced by Galerie Raymond Hains, Saint-Brieuc

Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes

dead pan ham, 2018

Mixed media installation
Courtesy of the artist.
Production Les Ateliers de Rennes – 2018.

Galerie Raymond Hains, Saint-Brieuc

International Waters,

Bad Crowd, 2018

Mixed media
Courtesy of the artist. Coproduction Galerie Raymond Hains & Les Ateliers de Rennes - 2018

Jolly Roger and Friends, 2018

Video (60’)
Courtesy of the artist. Coproduction Galerie Raymond Hains & Les Ateliers de Rennes - 2018