Jean-François Moriceau + Petra Mrzyk: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Jan 28 - Mar 19, 2005
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

First came The World is not Enough (Cologne), Diamonds are Eternal and Only for Your Eyes (New York), then Live and Let Die (Norway), Moonraker (Paris), Octopussy (Belgium) and Dr No (Nice). Now, Ritter/Zamet are pleased to present On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the first solo exhibition in the UK of French artist couple Jean François Moriceau + Petra Mrzyk.

Moriceau + Mrzyk are fast becoming notorious for their mischievous all-encompassing environments of black-and-white wall drawings, works on paper and wickedly witty animated films. From their intensely illusory imagination, fantastic fantasies come to life as vivacious lines, shadows and silhouettes with a surfeit of subtle intricacies and exquisite details. In London, the artists will cover the gallery walls with a faux-fairytale extravaganza of enchanted overgrown forests, exploding volcanoes and bizarrely bowing mountain ranges and crevasses. It is a landscape peopled by an absurd and seductive cast of characters: skeletal trees grasp onto their business briefcases, a scenic woodland vista becomes the setting for a moose-friendly movie auditorium, a gaggle of “chicks-with-dicks” run a marathon while semi-human figures leap for cover from nests of bouncing disembodied eyes and hair-devouring birds. The dynamic progression and flow of visual imagery clearly shows the artists’ adept hand as animated filmmakers, while at the same time they continue to bewilder us with a host of paradoxes, conundrums and boldly inverted clichés. “It’s sometimes hard to distinguish between the jokey, the jerky, the metaphysical, and the deadly serious in this French couple's sweetly nasty installation.” (Kim Levin, Village Voice, New York 2003)
Since they began collaborating as a couple in Nantes in 1998, the artists have exhibited internationally at venues including the Kunstmuseum Wiesbaden, the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, the Seoul Museum of Art, the Villa Arson in Nice and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. Later this month a selection of their works on paper will be included in the Contemporary Erotic Drawing exhibition at DiverseWorks in Houston that will travel later in the Summer to the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Connecticut. They also have an upcoming solo show at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris later this year. The couple have also adapted their trademark drawings to make a hand animated video for the French electronic band, AIR (Don’t Be Light, 2002).