Tu es monstrueux et je t’aime beaucoup
Fantastical beasts at times populate the landscapes by Vidya Gastaldon (1974, Besançon). The forms in these creations suggest an altered reality of consciousness and invite the viewer to decipher a host of references drawing freely from the Bhagavad Gita, the temptations of Saint Anthony, as well as the Barbapapa and Sponge Bob Squarepants cartoons. These influences lead to the work being considered as a descendant of psychedelia, which was, above all, a popular movement to democratize spiritual Eastern wisdom, scientific knowledge (LSD), and the avant-garde teachings of European Surrealism. The iconography on display in this one-room exhibition was reminiscent of Max Ernst’s Europe after the Rain, a 1942 painting groaning with ills that the Earth will never be able to absorb. Gastaldon’s work depicts disaster that nevertheless produces a piercing joy embodied by toothy grins and the ecstatic looks of cups, saucers, and other items in a paint-splattered tea service that all come together to shout, as in the the title of the exhibition, "You’re a monster and I love you so much."