François Dey




Way of working
The practice of François Dey moves between the situations of collaboration and individual escapism. The work serves as a means to creating memories with other people and also to take distance to an exuberant sensitivity. Timely trial; in other words through creating a situation in which chance can settle.

German text
François's Praxis bewegt sich zwischen der Darstellung von Situationen von Zusammenarbeit und individueller Weltflucht. Die Arbeiten dienen als Mittel zur Erschaffung von Erinnerungen mit anderen Leuten als auch Abstand zu nehmen zu einer überschwänglichen Empfindlichkeit. Zeitgerechtes Herumprobieren, mit anderen Worten durch die Erschaffung einer Situation, in welcher der Zufall sich einstellen kann.

Sommerakademie im Zentrum Paul Klees, Bern, 2016

press release

'I can't ask you to hike one mountain while I hike the other' 2014

François Dey considers the evanescent and the ephemeral both as important as the objects, nature, people that surround us all. In this way the experience of a walk in François Dey's exhibition comes into being through a series of slides provisionally mounted on the mat windows of the gallery and not in a slide projector. The refrigerator on which the slide projector is placed functions as a pedestal, but with drinks inside the fridge functions still for what it was made for. Opposite to its original purpose the projector with slides tray shows continuously just one and the same slide. The floor has been made wet by François Dey followed by covering it with the lime from the sandpapered gallery walls. After drying up his footprints were left on the floor as a kind of sculpture or residue of an unseen event.

For François Dey a walk for two is a moment of human bonding, especially if the walk takes up a few days. The time of being together is a time that unavoidably is filled up with a space that is charged, so to say. Such a walk as far as time and being together concerns is intense, particularly when they climb a mountain for hours and hours. The real time and total experience is impossible to reproduce and chain, but in 'I can't ask you to hike one mountain while I hike the other'. François Dey has created nevertheless- next to a plain visual travel report by means of film and slides - a floor sculpture of dried up wall chalk dust. During the exhibition footprints of visitors will leave their traces on top of the artist's imprints.

François Dey studied at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and was invited by the academy to be part of the Honours Program in 2008-2009 deel. With the support of the IFP / Institute for Provocation - multidisciplinary research platform he lived and worked in China in 2013 - 2014. At this moment he is participant of the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht.i>


Het efemere concretiseren.

François Dey beschouwt het voorbijgaande en het immateriële even belangrijk als de dingen, de natuur, de mensen zoals die concreet om ons heen te vinden zijn. Zo krijgt de ervaring van een wandeling in François Dey's tentoonstelling de vorm van een serie dia's die op matglazen ruiten van de galerie bevestigd zijn en niet als bewegende reeks in een diaprojector worden getoond. De diaprojector doet bij hem dienst als lamp waarin slechts een dia continu wordt getoond. De koelkast waarop een diaprojector staat fungeert als sokkel, maar met drank en kaas erin ook nog steeds als koelkast. De vloer is door François Dey nat gemaakt en daarna bedekt met muurgruis van de galeriewanden. Na het opdrogen bleven afdrukken van zijn voetstappen op de vloer achter. Kortom hij zoekt naar uitdrukkingsvormen waarbij het immateriële in en door hem geconcretiseerd reisverhaal doorklinkt.

Voor François Dey is een wandeling met zijn tweeën een moment van 'human bonding', vooral als die wandeling enkele dagen in beslag neemt. De tijd van bij elkaar zijn is een tijd die onontkoombaar opgevuld wordt met een ruimte die zich bij wijze van spreken oplaadt. Het beleven van tijd is intens, vooral als bijvoorbeeld samen een berg wordt beklommen. Zo'n wandeling is qua reële tijdsduur en totaalervaring niet concreet vast te leggen, maar in 'I can't ask you to hike one mountain while I hike the other' heeft François Dey naast een eenvoudig visueel 'reisverslag' van film en dia's een vloersculptuur van opgedroogd kalkgruis in de ruimte geplaatst, waarin tijdens het verstrijken van de tentoonstellingsperiode boven op zijn voetafdrukken sporen van bezoekers terug te vinden zullen zijn.

François Dey studeerde aan de Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam en nam in 2008-2009 deel aan het Honours Program van dezelfde academie. In het kader van het IFP / Institute for Provocation - multidisciplinary research platform verbleef hij in 2013 - 2014 in China. Momenteel is hij deelnemer van de Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht.i>
K. van Gelder, 2014

press release

To Do This Week' 2011

In the project space AP of Galerie van Gelder Swiss artist François Dey (1981) shows in his exhibition 'To Do This Week' a dark room/camera made out of cardboard boxes, coats and rags. It is a sculpture developed out of a practical idea. This at the same time camera obscura is mobile with which he can easily reach a table in the middle of the space, on which five still lives seem to be ready for photographic documentation. Six photo shopped and analogue photo prints hang in vertical pairs on a wall, showing balancing boxes, a little house and a tiny man, all built of small Ilford film roll boxes. The title 'Benjamin's House' refers to the mechanical reproduction of a work of art and its assumed loss of aura. In contrary to this François Dey is very interested in the chargeability of a photo, of which in his point of view specifically the background is capable of influencing the aura of the photographed object.
In preparation of a week working in the gallery François Dey composed a list of things to do and to take with him, in short a list of 'To do this week'. Ad hoc he took a series of photos of eyes in close up of people running in and out of the gallery, i.e. the gallerists and colleague-artist Nicolas Chardon who installed his show next to his space. From very nearby he photographed their eyes out of his mobile dark room, in which he also developed and printed the pictures. Now four photo prints of eyes hung in the space stare at the visitor.

François Dey concentrates preferably on minuscule details, which he enlarges by means of the camera eye of his cardboard cabin and in which he prints on old-fashioned photo paper. The used lens has an extreme limited range and therefore he is very close to his object during his photo sessions. He identifies himself with the lens as a kind of living magnifying glass. "When I am in the cabin I feel like a house being human", he says, but after he has achieved a photo session of a 100 seconds exposure time as a consequence of his traditional method, he likes in contrast to keep one's distance and to have the material speak for itself. Then, he is attracted by the cool for him distant nature morte photo settings on the table, enabling him to stand aloof from the magnified eyes, giving space to a much less personal pictorial impact.