by Hoël Duret, october 2013
As a synthesis of the Do It Yourself ideology and the utopia of the family unit of the American Way of Life, handcrafting is central to the work of Hoel Duret. What interested him in the process of amateur practice was not so much the specific aesthetics of the haphazard assemblage but to find, to display and to demonstrate that economic constraints can engender productivist intelligence. In order to support his work with a theoretical corpus, he has gathered his research about alternative methods of manufacturing in a self-published opus the title of which – I Can Do Anything Badly – sounds like an introductory slogan epitomizing his entire production.
In Hoël Duret's work, everything derives from the back and forth between industrialized ways and hand-made ways of production, intentionally causing a would-be industrial gesture to become poetry. The young French artist has learned the lessons of the generations that preceded him. Indeed, his views on creation were built during the second half of the 2000's, an era profoundly affected by a reinterpretation of modern and modernist precepts, sometimes to the point of fetishism. But despite manipulating the same codes as his elders, Hoel Duret has no fascination for modernism. On the contrary, it is by undertaking its critical review that he intends to grasp it, to examine it, to shake it up, even at the risk of undermining it. In a way we could see in his work a place to test the obduracy of these forms.
Born on 15 June 1988 in Nantes, Hoël Duret graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts in Nantes in 2011. He was awarded the Prix de la Jeune Création at the Mulhouse Biennale in 2012, the Prix des Arts Visuels de la Ville de Nantes, the Yishu 8 Prize in Beijing in 2014, and a residency at the Pavillon Neuflize OBC, laboratoire de création du Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2015-16.
His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at: Mulhouse Biennale (France, 2012); FRAC des Pays de la Loire (Carquefou, France, 2013); Castillo/Corrales (event, Paris, France, 2014); Mosquito Coast Factory (Campbon, France, 2014); YIA Art Fair (Paris, France, 2014); Zoo Galerie (Nantes, France, 2014); Park Life Gallery (event, San Francisco, USA, 2015); Musée des Beaux-arts in Mulhouse (France, 2015); LOOP Art Fair (Barcelona, Spain, 2015); Yishu 8 (Beijing, China, 2015); Centre d'Art l'Oeil de Poisson (Québec, Canada, 2015); Palais de Tokyo (event, Paris, France, 2016); TORRI (Paris, France, 2016; and Crédakino, Le Crédac (Ivry-sur-Seine, France, 2016).
His work has also been presented in group exhibitions at the Owen Gallery (Marfa, Texas, USA, 2011); Belleville Biennale (Paris, France, 2012); Martos Gallery (Los Angeles, USA, 2014); Palazzo Strozzi (Florence, Italy, 2015); Fondation Salomon (Annecy, France, 2015); Seoul Art Museum (Seoul, South Korea, 2016); Titanik (Turku, Finland, 2016); and Palais Garnier, Opéra de Paris (event, Paris, France, 2016).