'Dark Matter' is an organic extension of Julien Delagrange's quest for his own artistic universe. It builds upon his earlier series of black and white drawings (especially those inspired by Pina Bausch stills) but he takes it a step further. The scenes are quotidian, almost trivial - and as such very recognizable for the viewer - but the mood is deranging, even threatening. There is an overall existential uncertainty that casts a dark oppressive shadow over the seemingly banality of the daily scenes. The drawings show the deepened attention of the artist for texture rather than for spectacular scenes: details of draping in textiles and shadows become important elements in the composition of his portraits. The subjects seem to be frozen in a lethargic pose as if they are victims of a bigger scheme. It creates this typical 'unheimlichkeit' that characterizes these drawings.
The charcoal technique is an important element in this whole process: Julien creates the nuances of misty white and eerie grey by erasing the deep dark layers of charcoal. He thus literally cuts out his details from the darkness. It is quite similar to the technique of a sculptor: creating by erasing.
If - as a poet once stated - writing is deleting, then drawing - in the case of Julien - is erasing.
He scrapes off 'dark matter' (charcoal) in order to create 'dark matter' (unheimlichkeit).