Janus: do you pray for me?

Tony Regazzoni / Florian Sumi

Inspired by an archaeological vocabulary, Tony Regazzoni shows a synthetic vision of our time. His works create formal and symbolic links between ritualized and ghostly social practices and the codes of secret societies or nightlife. In his work, moments and inventions of civilizations long gone, the aesthetics, technology and the unconscious liberalism from the 80’s and 90’s are mixed to develop his own genealogy of humanity. Joyful nihilism of blind progress? Praise from a historical and modern heritage in which the energy could be our savior? While our civilization plans its survival, Regazzoni warns us of the possibility of a forthcoming end. Between archaism and ultra-modernity, Florian Sumi develops a vision of the world through the prism of the object and its uses. For him, the object creates a story as much as it forms part of History – it’s a receptacle of the world and a memory of its time. But the time of which his installations, publicity posters or videos speak of is the future. Questioning our ways of life through notions of progress, ecology, science, biology and breaking technology, his work shows us the need to rethink the human condition before it’s too late. Regazzoni and Sumi met at the Dijon National School of Fine Arts. After many years of working together, their practice evolves in parallel through a shared anguish: that of a human world that has reached the end of a model. Just like Janus – Roman god of the two faces, of beginnings and ends – one seems to resign to our extinction, while the other proposes the embryo of a possible hope. Between nostalgia and anticipation, Janus: do you pray for me? proposes a bipolar space where the obsessions of these two artists follow one another, through the prism of a rite. The gallery is transformed into a journey of initiation, and the specter of the rite reaffirms – just like the performance tradition has – “that there is no pure origin of the rite, of time or identity, but only a series of transmissions and retransmissions” [1].

Violeta Kreimer

[1] Michèle Féllous, Du rite comme œuvre : l’art contemporain, Médium, 2006