Parisian artists Brice and Regis Abby are twin brothers who operate under the moniker Abby Double, exploring philosophical notions of duality.
What defines the art of Abby Double?
Abby Double’s proposal is a questioning about identity, unicity in duplexity and duplexity in unicity, including scientific, metaphysics aspects and self experiment. It deals with the harmonization of dualism.
You work off the idea of duality, starting with your own experience as twins. Can you elaborate on how you approach duality in your art?
Duality deals with polarity. It’s the easiest way to take it but there are other angles. For the physics point in our art we have a work which show a geometrical representation of shadows intermingled with light. A shadow can’t exist without light but this figure can also express two sides of a personality. This is also why, on a psychic aspect, the personality trouble is also fascinating. For example, our “Sequential Scanning of a Replicant” installation deals with the potential confusion of identity of the twins and the opposite reading direction between occidental and Western civilization.
Can you share some highlights of your journey as artists with us please?
Our first public performance in 2011 during Scope Miami was really intense because we could feel the crowd of people around us , the murmurs of people through the gas masks between admiration, aversion, amusement or perversion. But when we started the most relevant fact
after the obvious lack of oxygen was the loss of all notion of time. The suffocation had something very heartwarming…
Which media do you prefer to work with?
We’re interested by all objects which can record the real. So, we are the point of departure of our studies and then we use our body as a blank paper for our performance.
You are inspired by philosophy. Which philosopher’s work have you explored via your art?
We titled our first exhibition ‘Prolegomena’ in reference to ‘Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Present Itself as a Science’ by the philosopher Immanuel Kant. It has to be taken as preliminary notions as non0destructive testing in industry. Clement Rosset’s work about the physical aspect of the double, Edgar Morin for his reflection about manhood and death and also Michel Guiomar.
Is it ever challenging to be so close and to work together?
Obviously it’s a challenge because the debates are pretty intense. In a collaboration between two colleagues you only have objectivity and logic but in family it’s always a mix between emotion and logic and we have to deal with it.
What do you most admire about each other?
May be the answer is in a quote of Wittgenstein: “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.”
What are some of your favorite hot spots in Paris?
The art institutions Palais de Tokyo for Art, Museum of Romantism, Palais de la découverte and the Bibliothèque Forney Art and Architecture. For cafés and restaurants we like the café La Perle, the guinguette Rosa Bonheur and the restaurant Le Dauphin. Our favorite clubs are Cirque Paradis and Le Montana.
What are you currently working on?
We are working on projects with French art institutions in Paris and Marseille and also on a new installation about classic movies about free violence. The Rebecca syndrome series and Duels is also still work in progress.
Double trouble or double blessing?
Double trouble, no doubt.
Words: Heike Dempster