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CAN Ibiza 2024

Xenia Lucie Laffely, Lucie Mercier, Zach Toppin

June 26 - 30, 2024

Booth A11


Ballon Rouge is pleased to present works by Xenia Laffely, Lucie Mercier, and Zach Toppin for CAN Ibiza 2024. While vastly different in aesthetic and even in medium, what is shared is their works' unique and underlying commentary on queer bodies, identities, politics, and representation. 

Xénia Lucie Laffely (b, 1987, Morges, Switzerland, based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal) has a background in fashion design, french literature, art history and feminist studies. She combines the traditional language of textile work with the contemporary aesthetic of digital photoshopped painting, creating hybrid pieces that question hierarchies between art, design, and crafts. Through the creation of fleshy and seductive textile pieces, her practice playfully interrogates issues related to digital culture, vanity, domestic space, failure, consumerism and lesbian love. Recent solo exhibitions include presentations at Bradley Ertaskiran (Montreal), Eastern Edge Gallery (St-John’s) and Kunstraum Niederoesterreich (Vienna), CHUV (Lausanne). Recent group exhibitions include Museo dei Cedri (Bellinzona), the Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam), the Centre National d’Art Graphique Le Signe (Chaumont), Kunstraum Niedereoesterreich (Vienna), and Galerie Last Tango (Zurich), among others. Laffely was the 2019 recipient of the Swiss Design Award, and a finalist for the 2020 Swiss Art Award.

Lucie Mercier (b. 1991, France) studied in Eindhoven (Netherlands), Ghent (Belgium) and graduated from the architecture school of Lille, France. She exhibited in Montreal (2022 and 2023) and in Lille for her first solo exhibition "Sweet Survival" in 2023, and had her first solo with Ballon Rouge in 2024. She began painting in 2021, after years of dissatisfaction in the field of architecture. Her very personal works sensitively explore political, feminist, mental health and empowerment issues. She questions the norms of representation through the prism of the female gaze, the re-appropriation of nudity, and the transition of the female body from the status of object to that of subject. Her works aestheticise daily life with a vernacular emphasis on the political, all imbued with the joy of sorority, power, and feminine anger. She is based in Paris.

Zach Toppin (b. 1987, UK) is a London based multidisciplinary artist. Toppin's work is rich in narrative, symbolism and cultural reference, weaving together important stories about emotion, gender, sex, and love. Working across painting, drawing and sculpture they archive and reimagine queer histories in order to construct new pathways of understanding for the present. Explorations into identity fantasy are borrowed from these ancestors, as well as through dissecting the historic construction of masculinity. Desire and longing are actualised through the fetishization of items, possessions, signifiers, relics. By investigating this collage of desire, we find a way to navigate the dichotomy of trans unease and euphoria, and how to arrive at strength and authenticity via the armour of dress and signifiers. Toppin began exhibiting work in 2023, and has shown work in several group exhibitions in London since.

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