portraits
Portrait

Xavier Antin

Digital tools make it possible to create, and at the same time order, production. The artist becomes a kind of worker.

As a great observer of image production and reproduction processes, Xavier Antin sketches out the ways in which technologies could be re-appropriated by humans.

Updated on 10/01/2020

2 min

A graduate of the the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (National Higher College of Decorative Arts) in Paris and the Royal College of Art in London, Xavier Antin began his career as a graphic designer in publishing. Constricted by this ultra-standardised space for expression, he quickly turned to the visual arts.

His first exhibition, “Learning With Errors”, was held in 2012 at the Crèvecœur Gallery in Paris – a gallery that has represented the artist since 2014.

His installations, where machines and images sit side by side, have been presented at numerous collective performances in France and abroad, in personal exhibitions at the MABA in Nogent-sur-Marne, at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse and at Aloft at Hermès in Singapore.

Xavier Antin wants to show the process of reflection, design and manufacture of the painted, drawn or printed object. He thus developed a highly conceptual expression in which human gestures and mechanised creations intertwine.

 

During his exhibitions “An Epoch of Rest” (2014) and “News From Nowhere” (2016), he transformed the art centre hosting him into a manufacturing workshop, printed in situ a set of wallpapers and, constantly adjusting the printer’s operation, thus explored the question of the role of the machine and the human re-appropriation of the means of production. In his latest project, The Weavers, presented from January to March 2020 at the Brétigny Centre for Contemporary Art, the exhibition space once again becomes a testing ground. Through the creation of augmented sculptures, Xavier Antin examines the (re)organisation of the industrial production system with the advent of automation and the emergence of artificial intelligence.

Embedded in the reflections of the great schools of Anglo-Saxon thought, and in particular the British Arts & Crafts movement – launched by William Morris and advocating a return to more artisanal production techniques –, Xavier Antin’s work explores the theme of the re-appropriation of production by humans from the heart of Silicon Valley to Singapore: it is the contrast in the heart of the city-state between lush vegetation and the financial jungle that gave him the idea for his exhibition “Vanishing Workflows”, an exhibition-pamphlet presented in 2017 and featuring the gradual replacement of humans by machines.

  • 2012

    2012

    Xavier Antin presents his first exhibition, "Learning With Errors" at the Crèvecœur Gallery in Paris.

  • 2014

    2014

    Xavier Antin explores the legacy of William Morris, the iconic figure of the Arts & Crafts movement, in two exhibitions, “An Epoch of Rest” (2014) and then “News From Nowhere” (2016).

  • 2017

    2017

    He is in residence in San Francisco working on his project “Une dématérialisation de la machine” (“Dematerialisation of the Machine”).

  • 2018

    2018

    Aloft at Hermès Singapore opens its doors to the artist and his exhibition “Vanishing Workflows”, a showcase of the clash between nature and technology.

  • 2020

    2020

    Xavier Antin presents his latest work, The Weavers, reflecting on the link between the living world and the world of industry, carried out during his residency at the Brétigny Centre for Contemporary Art.

The Institut français and the project

In 2017, Xavier Antin was laureate of the Institut français's residency programme "Hors les Murs" for his project on artificial intelligence.

L'institut français, LAB