Echoing Marcel Duchamp’s prophesy, “The great artist will go underground,” the installation Je ne regrette rien attempts a phantasmagorical rewriting of the myths of Atlantis and of the Austral continent. Going back to the origins of the legends that spurred European explorers to discover Easter Island and its mysterious giant Moaï statues, Théo Mercier revives the history of the shock of cultures in a post-industrial version. Surrounded by a collection of miniature aquarium ruins, the reproduction from a cheap curio shop of a Moaï head sits regally on a marble stand. Onto the head, the artist has grafted a realistic silicone nose reflecting the contempt inherent to Occidental projections with regard to this ancestral culture.
Je ne regrette rien (detail), 2014, Plaster, galvanised steel, resin © Erwan Fichou