• Solo exhibitions
• Group exhibitions
• Group collections
• Creation of the association
THE NECROPOLITAIN MEMOIRE
• The artist
of the death
installations or assemblies of more or less everyday objects, diverted
from their common use and whose juxtaposition imbues them with an explosive
character, violently provocative, aggressive, voluntarily blasphemous,
a bearer of accusations and denunciations with different objectives: lampooning,
sociological or political. Doubtlessly this attitude includes a desire
to liberate personal fantasies, which Chabot stages in three dimensions
with unfailing imagination. His preferred goals include an obvious antimilitarism
inherited from a grandfather destroyed by the war of 1914-1918, and what
one could call a funereal or funerary eroticism -- if its pure eroticism
wasn’t somewhat defused by the earnest long quest and sociological
research through many cemeteries in France and abroad, tracking signs
of a female-object eroticism in the rites, accessories and monuments of
death – an investigation that Chabot leads beyond obsession with
ravishing black humor.”
des peintres, sculpteurs, graveurs, Edition GRÜND, 1999
“Chabot haunts the cemeteries of the
world, camera in fist, hunting for scabrous inscriptions or devious funerary
art. He tracks souls like the Seer of Powell and Pressburger, or like
the character in a Mamleiev novel who killed to capture their escape from
the physical container. For more than 30 years, together with his double,
Chabotopoulos, he has made machines to reach the beyond in false grand
pomp, like Jarry biking behind Mallarmé’s funeral procession.
Creator of coffins that are on wheels, floating, flying, with or without
stove-pipes, machines that grind up eternity, I suspect him of espionage.
He finds blind spots in cemetery walls, the breaches that offer escape
at a given moment. When he breathes his last, he will have at last run
away. ‘My little one, you can see there is nothing else, nothing
afterwards. You remember... I have already told you.’ Anna de Noailles
to Jean Cocteau.”
—Yak Rivais, L’humour
noir dans les arts plastiques, Eden productions, 2004
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“I discovered André
Chabot’s work in the early 1970s. More precisely, I had come across
a few of his pieces mainly during the the Young Sculptors’ exhibitions.
Even if fleeting, these encounters could not leave one indifferent. Seeing
a hearse in a sculpture exhibition leaves a strong impression.
So it was with great pleasure that, 30
years later, I was able to meet the artist for the Encyclopedia and satisfy
my strong curiosity.
It is no banal achievement to make death
one’s reason for existence. André Chabot bears sober witness
to this choice and his personal reasons for choosing this path.
As a result, the artist reveals a remarkable
coherence and knows how to incorporate humor into the unbearable.
André Chabot lives in his Parisian
apartment-workshop surrounded by coffins and mortuary objects while he
prepares for the future – in other words, his post-mortem work.
There’s no doubt that he won’t miss a single opening for those
While waiting for his work to reach this
second life, André Chabot faces this unknown sea by sending death
a daily message in a bottle, through his ‘phantasmobjects.’”
—Claude Guibert, Encyclopédie
audiovisuelle de l’art contemporain
Chroniques de l’Encyclopédie, le 23 décembre 2004
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Chabot is a man that battles against death and its emptiness with all
the means of our post-modernity.
Recovery and diversion of objects.
Ingenuous and very meticulous constructions
Writing and compilations of poetic works
Planetary documentation on funerary art
(currently 130,000 images kept religiously).
Dozens of exhibits to his name
This elegant pugnacity serves one sole doctrine:
to remain eternal in spite of the emptiness of life and its vicissitudes.
Here can be found material with high potential to attract collectors and
One should visit his studio-home-necropolis
where, above the bed covered with an old shroud, Death itself watches
over in a violet light, ready to mow him down in his sleep.”
—Richard Quémerais, january
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“With an insistence that matches that
of the Grim Reaper, André Chabot never ceases pursuing, tracking
and setting on stage the multiple forms and figures behind which hides
the ‘presence’ made up of that final and ultimate absence.
From this essential nothingness — origin of what remains as much
as finality — he derives forms and objects, working with sleight
of hand; a hostile takeover and hijacking of helpless steles representing
memory and fear, duplicating and developing them in a vast, irreverent
In doing this he induces a stasis, opening
perspectives to silence and meditation and allowing meaning to arise.
He creates a stable space that finally enables reflection on the vertiginous
movement which escapes individuals and ends by engulfing them. He makes
death itself an esthetic object – an appreciable vengeance.
Here we are far from all exorcism or desire
of redemption. Nor is there a particular fascination, unless it is the
(com)passion of an entomologist. No Calvary, entombment, resurrection.
The sudden departure of myth, the return to a naked reality, highlights
the inventive delirium as well as the illusory character (if not derision)
of cult objects. Here is a phantasmagorical creation that is real, to
be read and discovered on the gravel pathways of cemeteries.
Chabot’s process is analytical and
inventive. Having opened up the enormous ‘mythogram,’ he methodically
explores it. He gathers, classifies, aligns, constructs. His method is
— scientifically — pleonastic, an inverted rhetoric that opens
the figures to their double meanings. Redundancy, tautology, and hyperbole
allow for resonating effects, amplification and emphasis. The objects
of funeral rites — multiplied, imitated, photographed, duplicated,
separated from their ceremonial context — thus deliver all their
inherent uncertainty, their fundamental disarray, to show that they are
pure products of the living, of anguish or pain, yet they irreparably
escape Death (like the dead themselves). Some, the most metonymical, are
pure extracts that combine humor and calculated provocation. Others are
more ambiguous. The ambiguity doubtlessly comes from the object’s
personalisation, inviting one to reconstruct an imagined story beyond
the anonymity of the particular case. It is also the discourse of the
tombs. Here the process is typically functional: it allows a sub-layer
of significance to open first inside, and to amplify the object’s
—François Derivery, Esthétique
Cahiers, n°23/24, 1993
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Chabot André, Erotique du cimetière
is a bewitching, marvelous work that can’t be summarised because
it is so rich and diverse. Nourished with wisdom, it knows how to teach
but even more, it takes us along the paths of eroticism, making us dream
of sumptuous love affairs with death, because its power of suggestion
is irresistible. In fact, André Chabot invites us to a double pleasure:
That of the gorgeous images themselves, subtly unveiled through his box
of magic and malice. And that of a refined text, subtle and elegant (after
all, is not the author a professor of letters?) that is defined less as
a commentary of image-as-language than as a meditation on the meeting
of Eros and Thanatos in funerary statuary, uniting history, mythology,
literature and humour in an exquisite dose.
Chabot instructs us; he astounds us with
the splendor of his images; he ravishes us with the elegance of his expert
pen; he takes us into the wild detours of his imagination and our own...”
Bulletin de la Société de Thanatologie, n°89/90,
“In the latest
fashion that makes death the flavor of the day, one could not insolently
forget that, for a long time already, this artist has explored the flower-beds
of cemeteries with the precision of an archeologist, the critical spirit
of a philosopher, but especially a humor and healthiness that have until
now allowed him to escape easy morbidity.”
—Gilles Plazy, Le quotidien
du médecin, 1978
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Chabot disfigures idols, unmasks institutions, overturns taboos... It
is salutary that some objects of public interest and moral order be put
Paris, december 1975
Courage d’André CHABOT
“The makers of objets d’art
bore me, like the objects themselves.
At best, these makers are simple brutes
or useless, stupid artisans.
But then comes André Chabot, no longer
a maker of objects but creator of courageous situations. Because he knew
how to communicate courage to his objects, that ever since then stand
as if in a modern saga.
These objects were actors in search of an
author and on the stage of the Theatre of the Spirit, we start performing
reality: life, death, hope and its counterpoint. The risks that André
Chabot takes to accomplish his unique work are enormous, because the elements
that compose it must be real, necessary. And since all must be paid for
on this Earth, the author must pay with his very self.”
—Maurice Rapin, Paris, september
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