Simon Le Ruez’s third solo exhibition at Vane presents works carefully and seductively choreographed within the space in response to the artist’s growing desire to construct in situ work, transforming the dynamic methodology of his studio practice within the gallery walls. For the last fifteen years Le Ruez has developed an interest into the conflicts innate to notions of territory and created works able to individually evoke the complex connection between the private and the public spheres. For this presentation Le Ruez has actively transformed the space into a landscape whose mapping takes place under the eyes of the visitor. This shift of scale and the meticulous and precise play on the size of objects allow Le Ruez to ignite multiple relationships between form, structure and image, transforming the gallery into a tableau reminiscent of aerial views. Each miniaturised structure is perceived in relation to the others and hints at the immensity of a landscape.

‘The other side of you and me’ also celebrates Le Ruez’s interest in architecture and specifically draws on its relationship to sculpture. He conjures the city and gives it secret corners to illuminate its phosphorescent nightlife. Like fragile, slender skyscrapers the works Innenhof and Alibi play with transparencies, opaque mirrors and reflections. In Déjà Vu, what might be architectural models are presented as a futuristic archive separating the representations of buildings from their urban context. Le Ruez plays with this conservationist perspective and in a rebellious way transforms a kind of museum display into a platform for flamboyance and ostentation, where ornamental gusto gives human characteristics and sensibility to form.

If in Le Ruez’s work the city and its excesses have an exuberant taste, nature is never far away. Almost menacingly, as in Sister and The accident, it recalls the rawness of the soil, the brownness of dried blood and the fragility and inadequacies of human structures when confronted by the sublime power of mountains and oceans. Le Ruez stages a luxuriant yet refined exhibition where laughter and celebration never fully mask the sound of breaking ice.

Read Michaela Hall’s essay Fun and games