In an underground cabin of furore and fantasy, meet the idiosyncratic worlds of Horfée & Russell Maurice. Hurtling from the train tracks and boulevards of Paris, Horfée’s metropolis of anthropomorphic creatures and psychiatric machines come face to face with Maurice’s apocalyptic island littered with a melted Oz wizard and bruise-faced moons. As Haruki Murakami wrote: the chaos has changed shape.
Using cels (transparent sheets) originally employed to split up the production process of hand-drawn animation, Maurice & Horfée revive a historical technique of cartoon creation to seamlessly layer up their compositions. For Maurice, this results in uncanny scenes of abandoned castles interrupted by ambling hobo characters, and obscure scenarios of mystical objects, ‘freed’, as James Boaden has said, ‘from the shackles of narrative to run amok’.
Yet metamorphosis is not only a matter of characterization. Just as Horfée moves beyond the boundaries of graf art, Maurice melts the margins of the comic-book frame, turning figures of flat surfaces into solid objects in space. His suggestively “sculptural” approach to the cartoon, that debunks its status as a sub art, resonates with the subversive nature of Horfée’s entire practice – one that encourages you to read between the lines to understand what’s being said in the Pathetic Bubble.