In June 2024, an exhibition entitled “Maison en Feu,” French for “House on Fire,” by artists Jan Melka and David Ledoux will open at Poush Art Center outside of Paris. The collection of photography and film is the story of a new concept of “home,” created from bits and pieces, DIY ideas and lucky finds, shot across destinations in Basque Country, France and Spain. The work is an amalgamation of the artists two minds, presenting what happens when two artists confront each other to exchange inspirations: sparks fly, a flame takes hold and forms transform.

The specific works from the series, including film, photography and house sculptures, will be exhibited in France this year:

Friday June 15
Poush, Manifesto, Aubervilliers
Immersive installation of a smoking house
+ the film + photographies in a more underground look space (Poush)

Jan Melka’s practice spans drawing, painting and sculpture to capture humanity within a hypnotic geometry of lines, layers and improbable constructions. David Ledoux transforms images in a sculpture of overlays, cutouts and stencils. He adds and subtracts to what he sees while highlighting and confronting it with fiery light captured through performance, photo and video.

These realisations deform the nature of his subjects. He often works with houses rendered in a childlike way. Jan began her series “Les Cabanes d’Urgence” (Emergency Shelters) in 2019, creating houses with recycled materials that take on a life of their own to become a kind of second skin.

David adds to and subtracts from his views of performance to capture the spark of life balanced between creation and oblivion. Through their eyes, the house becomes a person, alive with its own emotions, reacting to its surroundings and entourage with a self consuming, interior flame. If this house is a body then fire is its emotion, angry, passionate, as destructive as it is reconstructive, an individual reacting to the world it inhabits.

In this work, two creative visions are fused. Through a maze of painting, sculpture, photography and conversation over diverse geography, the house is burnt, destroyed, taken apart and recreated. Emerging from their respective creative processes, inspirations and techniques, common ground is found and an artistic construction blending two points of view emerges. Inspired by each other and taking advantage of each other’s experiences, individual creativity is bypassed for a meeting of minds and worlds. The house becomes a shared obsession, an embrace.

Impermanence and destruction promise a renaissance. As this work explores the steps taken to create a work, we experience the earliest reflections and discussions, gain backstage access to the genesis of an idea, and the desires, doubts and waiting period the two artists share as they establish common ground. And then the house burns. This is an exhibition conceived as a kind of ‘making of’ with all the layers of creation, including the video, but also drawings and works in progress, assemblages, manuscripts, layouts and mini films to expose how a work takes form. In a world where the creative process all too often disappears behind the finished product, Jan and David offer a rare view of the twisted roads art takes to manifest itself. “La Maison en Feu” unites destruction and reconstruction to illuminate life in art.