Red-Blue-White solo show, 2005.
France Fiction gallery, 6 rue du Forez, Paris.
Curator: Stéphane Argillet.
Exhibited works: site-specific installation displaying the Red-Blue-White textile series (2005).
Press release extract:
RED-BLUE-WHITE (RBW), is an immersive textile installation literally wrapping the gallery space. The title of the installation Red-Blue-White, which deliberately refers to the French and other western flags color codes, builds an even tighter link between the gallery France Fiction and the creation as if the work was incorporating the gallery space and core structure. The “environmental sculpture” also includes a series of 9 autonomous textile pieces, made with the same textile and resembling fake flags.
The red, blue and white textile directly refers to the flag as an object and as a symbol (“drapeau” in French) i.e. the “drape” (“cloth” in English) alternatively clothing the Republic, the Nation or the Revolution. RBW/Raphaële Bidault-Waddington’s installation and the 9 flags offer a navigation between these folds, trying to open new ways of thinking and resisting the deadly appropriation of theses color codes by extreme and conservative political parties. Art is a weapon to open rhetorical breaches and so this is the attempt of the show. RBW’s installation gives a chance to recall how the French flag, a historical prototype that influenced many other nations along the nineteenth century, encompasses multiple meanings. The three hyphenated colors meant to reflect national identity have in fact been associated with ever changing meaning and communities, whether the Aristocracy, the Republic or the city of Paris, the Revolutionaries or the Christian martyrs. And behind its identification function which proves rather unclear, the Red-blue-white flag has also been the vehicle of a “program”. It represents the first political revolution having a universal reach, the three colors carrying the emancipatory slogan of Liberté-Égalité-Fraternité across continents.