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Electric Eclipse by Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil is a visual sum of strict geometric shapes in immaculate white

Martine Feipel en Jean Bechameil
Electric Eclipse, 2017

Back to the future?

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Is ‘Electric Eclipse’ an ode to past times, or an allusion to what awaits us? The bas-reliëf of the Franco-Luxembourg duo Feipel & Bechameil could in any case easily have been created on the work table of a pre-war, avant-garde artist.

The visual combination of strict geometrical shapes in spotless white takes us back at least to the 1920s and 30s — when the future looked bright.

What intrigues us today is the rotating disc. It lends a cool relief and an almost frivolous momentum. What is more, the manoeuvres of the keen-edged circle seem as unpredictable as they are precise, the result of robotics and automation. Just like art, technology has undergone a complete transformation since then. It is well known that these innovations are already largely the order of the day. What is more uncertain, however, is how they will make their appearance in art.

Are Feipel and Bechameil giving us a sneak preview then with ‘Electric Eclipse’? Who knows, today’s innovations are very much the poetry of tomorrow. And perhaps they make the future plausible precisely by referring to the past. But are they pioneers or merely nostalgic? Avant-garde or outdated?