Born in 1966 in La Tronche ()
Lives and works in Grenoble (France ) and in Grenoble (Iceland )
Liste expositions


Serge Comte graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Grenoble in 1995.

He soon obtained grants to travel to Phoenix in the USA, Kobe in Japan and, more importantly, to Iceland, where he spent several months alone in a lighthouse. It was this stay that enabled him to discover and experiment with Internet and its network of discussion groups, the chat rooms.

Serge Comte has used several media, some of them very particular. He quickly established his name with his videos in Festivals in France and in Europe. He produced a series of short tapes featuring a single character filmed in close-up and dishing out confidences, in Orange sanguine (1993) for example. His video works as a whole are inspired by a universe that has to do with the intimate aspects of everyday life – so characteristic of the 1990's. He has brought forth a series of avatars, imaginary definitions of himself that have an autonomous life of their own: the 'tenebrous' Philippe Dorain, the co-director of his earliest tapes, like Loup-Loup, followed by the 'enigmatic' Stéfan Morvant, who made his appearance during an APAC 1 exhibition in Nevers in 1996. Serge Comte plays with disguise and anonymity. His use of self-filming allows him to gently disperse his narcissism in fiction.

He is also distinguished by his use of 'post-its', from which he creates a kind of 'replaceable wallpaper' – images printed on a large number of post-its, which can be placed on a wall or corner. For him, this kind of paper represents an economy of means, an ultra-light aspect that simplifies exhibition processes like transport and hanging: "The post-it is like a petal; it blooms and fades and then falls." 2

Serge Comte also created a series of portraits using the technique of morphing faces - "superbbastards" and "délicieuses pucelles". He brought together couples of all types of images and formed a gallery of imaginary and improbable avatars.

In 1997, he produced the CD iwannabeyourfavoritebee. This series of kitsch songs used basic instruments like the sampler or keyboards, without claiming any great musical knowledge. This manner of creating works without using any particular technical skills – low-tech – was a common feature of a generation of artists in the 1990's who wanted to get rid of overpowering technical restrictions.

His is the universe of "safe at home", which outlines a particular state: you are at home alone, the television is switched on but you aren't watching it, it's simply a source of warmth and light, the record playing on the turntable is a crooner's song. "Safe at home" is that domestic sense of well being that protects you from the outside world and allows you to have your own solitary party, as a prerequisite for the production of these works.

This little ceremony, focusing on Serge Comte himself, aims to transform each normal, everyday act into an enchanting and magical rite. The artist builds a system of self-sufficiency around himself – somewhere between cocooning and minimalism, between the need to protect himself in the warmth of the home and the reduction of means employed.

There is no need to search for messages or demands in Serge Comte's work: it's all glitter, a symbol of lightness and the superficial. And yet, this aesthetic of small things and almost nothing is what Serge Comte describes as the last form of resistance to technological sophistication, to mass consumption and the power of marketing images.

Laetitia Rouiller

1 Association pour l'art contemporain.
2 Serge Comte, in Purple Prose, Paris, number 9, 1995, page 152.