Image: Régis Mayot, Dissection

Régis Mayot

Born and works in Paris, France

French artist Régis Mayot works like an urban archaeologist, mining the trash bins of French consumer culture for his materials. He appropriates the cast-off containers that once held laundry detergent, bleach, hair products, spray cleaners, motor oil and other fluids to create sculptures that engage at the same time as they instruct. After sorting through their varied shapes and colors, Mayot carves away the walls of each bottle, leaving only the structural elements, the threaded openings, the bases, the corners and the seams.

Mayot's question is essentially a simple one: How much of a plastic container can you take away and still maintain the essence of that container? Pieces such as Grand Magasin celebrate the infinite shapes, structures and colors that product marketers have carefully designed to attract consumer attention, even as he has dissected their symbolic meaning. His artful interventions enhance our understanding of each object as intimately connected to commerce while at the same time they remind us that the utility of each bottle is long since past.

Image: Régis Mayot, Mîne

Also included in Manuf®actured are Mayot’s Mînes – curious and personality-rich small-scale light sculptures he has created from the remaining dissected bits of his larger sculptural installations – yet another salvage operation. Through his process of crafting with unconventional materials and tools – the plastic bottle and the X-Acto blade – Mayot has arrived at a new and unexpected aesthetic. By addressing his material’s absence at the same time as its presence, he takes an essentially worthless object and transforms it into something of great value.

Image: Régis Mayot, Grand Magasin
Régis Mayot, Mînes, 2008; Carved plastic containers, metal,
fluorocompact light; Collection of the artist
Régis Mayot, Grand Magasin, 2001; Carved plastic containers,
metal, Plexiglas; Collection of the artist
Museum of Contemporary Craft