Gracefully taming the forces of nature, Stéphane Thidet has many accomplishments to his name, such as the petrification of plants, bringing their growth to an immediate end by suffocating them in clay glazing. He once also released a pack of wolves at what can be described as an ‘animal happening’ at the Château des Ducs de Bretagne in Nantes.
He has triggered indoor deluges with his Refuge, a rather inhospitable cabin where it poured with rain inside. This visual artist is particularly drawn to water, which he uses to upset ‘the natural course of events’. Forget your ordinary swimming pool, set in the ground as if it needs the pull of gravity: Stéphane Thidet and his accomplice Julien Berthier, masters in turning things on their head, have dug pools in ceilings. However, Stéphane reveals all his poetic talent when he uses water as a canvas on which to paint. His appearance at the Collège des Bernardins in Paris will be remembered for a long time to come: there we could admire centenary tree trunks suspended and swaying to sketch ephemeral drawings on a mirror of water.
On a more somber note, he once flooded a basement room in Ekaterinbourg in the Urals, then set up a scythe that rotated to caress the surface of the water, sensual but threatening at the same time A grim reaper performing a macabre ceremony? Perhaps, as this visual artist certainly enjoys summoning all kinds of spirit. This ghost, these corpses and this White Lady all haunt his work. Natural and supernatural, Stéphane Thidet’s art confronts all imaginable forces.
Stéphane Thidet © Mathieu Demy