Within the context of this exhibition at the Slag & RX gallery, three series of works will be presented.
Commandments XVI, 1991.
Commandments is one of Kirili's most important series. Composed of distinct geometric forms rising to a height of 38 to 90 centimeters, the Commandments resemble both “mystical fonts" and "abstract alphabets". Kirk Varnedoe, addresses the question of the symbolic value of elemental forms, particularly when it comes to glyphs, signs and texts, which refers not only to Kirili's fascination with sacred texts but also to his affinities with Roland Barthes’ entourage: Philippe Sollers and Julia Kristeva.
Open form, 2005.
Open form refers to a composition of sound and to three-dimensional elements that can find infinite combinations. It is a living situation, without a beginning or an end, which keeps the creative process wide open. [...] I am reacting against a new form of repression, a world of excessive virtuality. That is why I am so involved in a selection of music, poetry and sculpture. It's an alternative that I would like to see live on because it’s a project that is part of human dignity. As a sculptor I enjoy putting tactility up against virtuality. I like the "Please touch".
The series Totems is at the origin of the 1981 Commandment: these three-dimensional signs were presented in the gardens of the Palais Royal in 2005. The group, sculpted in a repetitive and random rhythm is a hymn to verticality and lightness.
Although these sculptures were poured in bronze, the forging technique he used required him to work quickly and spontaneously with his hands, while the iron was hot and malleable. The imprints, marks and traces of Kirili's rapid and intuitive manipulation can be seen in the holes, gestural 'stains' and indentations left on the copper surfaces of Totem (2004). [...] (extract Brooklyn rail)
He speaks fervently about the need for art to rise, both literally and figuratively: "I need verticality; it is part of my means of survival, of my own dignity.
These contemporary obelisks have a scared surface, a broken and unfinished touch to them, this energizes their verticality.