Space and time – Jonathan Sullam’s protean work is characterized by a poetic fusion of territory and the stories that have marked a given space. A coalescence into which he merges his own mythology and from which new fields of experimentation are then born; reflections from an accumulation of material and immaterial strata. Jonathan Sullam explores the image, the material or the memory that best corresponds to his own ever-moving emotions. Where a different gesture is required, he learns a new technique. And so emerges a profoundly sensitive work of art. A frozen crystallization of time and space.
Words too are an important ingredient in Jonathan Sullam’s works. Whether through the title or incorporated in the work itself, they inform on the subject or shout out to be heard, leaving the observer master of his or her emotions and interpretation of the work and its creator. Through his predilection for time and space, Jonathan Sullam develops an empirical study of the human condition, its zenith and its programmed fall. He invokes emotions that are intimate but also collective, exploring their representation whilst restraining time in balance and widening space. This study is primarily psychological and one to which his works respond through an incessant to-ing and fro-ing between thought and material, up until the moment when tension in the movement freezes into the work of art.
The aesthetics of Jonathan Sullam’s art are of an intense, surgical precision. They highlight a work of timelessness. In each of his installations there is also, however, a certain stagecraft, through which his works often reveal an anthropomorphic character. Using the verticality of human posture, a work remains upright, in balance: recumbent, it manifests a dimension of almost deathly fragility. This stagecraft is no accident. After studying art in the public space, Jonathan Sullam traveled the world, fascinated by towns and cities in mutation. Places of urban dynamism where, already saturated by construction, he could choose a location on the periphery, where a work might reveal itself differently.
Text by Sarah Lanos / tr. Liz Harrison