To mark its tenth birthday, the Fondation Folon staged an exhibition that reflected what was going on in Belgium at the time. It featured original works, some of them previously unseen, by the three artists who came together in the “campagne de dérision” (campaign of derision). Visitors could enjoy a stroll along the paths of the Solvay Regional Estate to view sculptures and fountains by Pol Bury.
One “campagne de dérision”
In 1980, while Belgium, in the year of its 150th birthday, was tearing itself apart over the issue of the national language, Pierre Alechinsky, Pol Bury and Jean-Michel Folon launched a “campaign of derision” under the auspices of the Daily Bul. Worthy of James Ensor’s beloved country, the campaign was entitled the Noirquoisie. Demanding the right to vote denied to them as Belgians living in France, they made a stand and published tracts and pamphlets mocking the complexity of the country’s institutions.
The campaign, which the trio entitled Le Dérisoire absolu in a nod to L’Écart absolu, the title André Breton gave to the last Surrealism exhibition in 1965, now has other ominous overtones.
The first room featured Folon’s contribution to a series of “topical drawings” by Alechinsky illustrating hilarious texts by Bury, along with all the documents relating to this campaign. That set the tone.
A second room contained works by Pol Bury, ranging from his Plans Mobiles to his Ramollissements and Cinétisations.
In the Solvay Estate
Around twenty sculptures and fountains by Pol Bury were installed around the estate: rigid volumes – spheres and cylinders – iconic figures from the famous “Sculptures Hydrauliques” whose imperceptible movements create the impression of fixity. The artist played with equilibrium and weight and reversed gravity, overturning our perceptions.