Liste Basel

Liste Basel

Hugo Servanin

12.06.23 - 18.06.23

NıCOLETTı is delighted to present a solo exhibition by French artist Hugo Servanin (b. 1994). Working at the confluence of classical sculpture and technological sciences, Servanin’s practice revolves around the creation of sculptural bodies that he calls Géants [Giants] – a nod to Greek mythology, in which the Gigantes were endowed with supernatural powers. First moulded on human bodies, Servanin’s sculptures are presented within immersive environments in which the artist attempts to recreate the condition of organic life through an array of machines, computers and artificial intelligence.


At LISTE, Servanin presents a new series of works that he began developing for his first institutional solo exhibition at the Magasins Généraux, Pantin, FR (Mar–May 2023), where the artist explored the three life stages of the Géants, from birth and growth to death. One of these sculptures, Géant 33, will be connected to a gutter containing a pump that distributes water in and out of its armature, in which the artist inserted plants. While the multitude of silicon pipes entering and exiting Géant 31 suggests the venous system enabling the irrigation of organic bodies, the plants evoke the intricate relationship between humans and their environment, in which the vegetal world provides the necessary conditions for their survival. Here, however, the use of synthetic materials and mechanical systems conjugates this reflection on natural processes with an evocation of humanity’s cornucopian dream of being able to control and maintain life through technological development.


These ideas are emphasized by the presentation of Object 19, a backlit stained glass showing the radiography of an admixture of bones and plants. Hybridizing human and vegetal, medical sciences and botany, Géant 33 and Object 19 evoke both the medical assistance of living beings and the artificial recreation of organic life by technological devices.


Object 19 will be accompanied by Giant 38 & 39, two stainless steel duckboards upon which the artist fixed glass-blown filaments representing the arterial network of a pair of legs. By showing both the outside and the inside of the human body, Servanin conjures the complex mechanics of fluids and organs at the origin of life while pinpointing the sometimes overly methodical ways scientific reasoning approaches natural processes – observation, dissection, conclusion. In so doing, the artist invites viewers to contemplate the poetry of anatomical mechanisms while reflecting upon the dissociation of humans from their environment in Western forms of knowledge, ultimately confronting us with the sterilized version of reality our faith in science might be leaving us with.