‘U’upa a Hina
07 October 2021–07 November 2021 | Dirimart


Artists: Sylvie Fleury, Gonzalo Lebrija, Florian & Michael Quistrebert

Curator: Anissa Touati


The goddess Hina took her dugout canoe one evening and headed out to sea to admire the moon… The moon that evening was immense and illuminated the ocean with its glitter. Fascinated, she plunged into its reflection to disappear in its brightness. This is how Hina became the goddess of the moon. But lonely and forced to live isolated, the goddess decided to transform herself into a bird, a ‘u’upa with shimmering plumage, in order to travel and come down to earth to visit people and share their daily lives.

‘U’upa a Hina explores the theory of multiple worlds, their superposition and coexistence. 3 artists; Sylvie Fleury, Gonzalo Lebrija, Florian & Michael Quistrebert, 3 universes which continually divide into divergent Cosmos, different and inaccessible to each other. Each world contains a unique version of each observer experiencing a different situation at the same moment in time.

Gonzalo Lebrija freezes time, seeking to capture fleeting moments for our contemplation, unquantifiable yet finite moments between life and death. His paintings depict triangular overlays of thinly applied oil paint, becoming darker and more complex as each layer interacts with the other. A complex composition based upon the folds of a paper airplane, alluding to the lightness, ingenuity and ephemerality of this invention. By extension,
the viewer can sense an existential philosophy in Lebrija’s paintings. The artist’s hypnotic works suspend the passage of time in ephemeral and mysterious moments of layers of muted semi transparent paint that form prismatic abstractions.

Sylvie Fleury has produced an extensive oeuvre, incorporating an array of themes from projects that focus on Zen practices and personal development to Science fiction, reimagining familiar makeup compacts on a monumental scale. Devoid of branding and meticulously rendered with soft-modeled black curves and shimmering inset panels, the pieces might resemble automotive interiors or color-field canvases. There rises a tension between makeup inviting to play and artwork forbidden to touch invoking the notion of desire, the forbidden and guilt.

For Florian & Michael Quistrebert, light is the central element of their painting. “With light, what is interesting is the ambivalence that shifts it from the sacred to the material, from the esoteric to the technological…” Their works play on texture colour effects, curves and scale. Recently, instead of using spray cans, they have evolved their practice to use only ink spray, which allows brighter and purer colors. “The idea was still to produce an excessive form of painting that verges on being sickening. In our last paintings, the colour shadings waver between the dusky shades of Georgia O’Keeffe and airbrushed SF landscapes.”

‘U’upa a Hina are peregrinations from one universe to another, a crossing from one atoll to another, a hallucinated daydream taking the forms of abstraction either geometrical, saturated or fractured. The exhibition raises the question of multiple and parallel realities, of infinitely large and infinitely small, where an art work can take on multitudes of simultaneous forms, be here and elsewhere at the same time : a link between matter and consciousness.


Pink Popcorn, 2008, fiberglass, car paint, 70 x 60 x 120 cm
Sylvie Fleury
Waterfall, 2020, sprayed ink on burlap, 200 x 300 cm, courtesy of the artists and Crèvecœur, Paris
Florian & Michael Quistrebert
Veladura Nocturna (Orión), 2021, oil on linen, 190 x 150 cm
Gonzalo Lebrija