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Spanning fifteen years of artistic practice, this monograph derives its title from a 1913 avant-garde Cubo-Futurist opera celebrating the demise of the sun. It confronts us with the speculative state of reality after the end of the world, a barren ontological wasteland in which artifacts have lost their utility. In his work, Xavier Mary is concerned with the dreams and nightmares of modernity, resulting from its inherently industrial nature. The sense of an impending apocalypse or total destruction seems particularly topical for the current times. Where the Promethean nature of technology typically allowed humans to liberate themselves from the whims of nature (such as the limited availability of sunlight), this gift for self-preservation has now given way to the threat of self-annihilation. And yet, in the zero point of the apocalypse, an ontological truth is revealed: everything suddenly manifests itself in its inexorable materiality, a ghostly cosmos of autonomous objects.
In combining a thoughtful selection of exhibition views and text contributions by guest authors, Victory over the Sun offers the first comprehensive overview of Xavier Mary’s intriguing oeuvre. Graphic design by Pierre Smeets.