Constellation du corbeau / Musée - château d'Annecy
As a supplement to this exhibition, the artist has provided the following glossary. It is both poetic and formal, to facilitate discovery of the narrative complexity of her work in layers and fragments.
ring: This magical object of fables slips off the finger and disappears as easily as it appears. Like a circle on the surface of the water… that is how I discovered a thin gold ring, reflected from the bottom of a red metal tin of Craven A. Like an enchanted memory trail, it bounced endlessly back.
branch: I use it for its line quality, the immediacy of the drawing and the freedom to write that it gives me, creating a memory of the gesture.
chair: a recurring motif in my work, an object symbolizing waiting and linked with absence, evoking the figure of Penelope; suspended time and bated breath…
coal: for its smoky blackness and the abyss that it expresses. “In the night of matter, black flowers flourish.” L'Eau et les Rêves, Gaston Bachelard, éd. José Corti, 1942, p. 3
scissors: sewing scissors. My grandmother was “petite main” for a couturier. The wardrobe in her room overflowed with samples of fabrics, laces and sequins… There were pieces of tulle embroidered with flowers, like gardens hanging gracefully from the body of the wearer….
key: the key of the forbidden cabinet. Bluebeard's key: “when the blood was washed off one side, it came back from the other”.
fable: the fables of Andersen, Perrault or the Grimm brothers remain a source of constant inspiration. They were like a lullaby throughout my childhood, kindling my imagination. Their universality is disconcerting. “Fables help us to make it through to the next day…”
sky: I made the sky into a fruitful crucible where the universe of the fable - with its archetypal, ambivalent figures (like that of the wolf, the bear or the crow), inscribed in the collective imagination - finds its place in a natural way. I engraved memories of childhood there, unwinding the Ariane’s thread of a small cosmogony, between mythologies and fables; a small glossary from a personal grammar where wolf, bear, lion, crow, chair, rocket, boat, hand, foot and shoe… jostle alongside each other...
sewn by hand: handcrafted from the site itself, that is how I like to define the work of installation
dichotomy: a constant, which develops with the passing of time, between inside/outside, shade/light, moving/motionless, true/false, small/large, heavy/light, high/low, land/sky, microcosm/macrocosm
fingers /claws: half-man, half-animal, the evocation of a continuity that resounds with our animal ancestors. But also the fingers of memory, of russet-red ink around the edge of the moon.
star: an anchor point in the sky to prevent us from losing our foothold and help us set sail for the long haul… “We are indebted to the stars for having made the atoms, which make up the molecules of our eyes, turned towards them”. Hubert Reeves
gesture/memory: working on innate gestures in a conception of time that is cyclical and no longer linear. Working with and in memory of the body.
geographical impact: it was when I left Paris to live in the Lot area that I discovered the “Black Triangle”. A region famous for its astronomical observation and for the clearness and depth of its nights (free of all human light pollution), covering the area between Labastide-Murat, Livernon and Sauliac-sur-Célé. Since then, having become "a sort of inverted astrologer "(Andre Breton, Languae de Pierre), my work finds it source amongst the shapes and mythological stories afforded by the figures in the constellations, and more particularly their animal figures:
2003: Constellation du centaure, Château-Musée du Cayla/ 2007: Constellation du corbeau, Château de Haute-Serre/ 2008: Constellation du loup, Atelier D'Estienne, Pont-Scorff/ 2009: Constellation 2: la LLoba, Musée Henri-Martin, Cahors/ 2010: 13 loups&une loupe, Château Du Tremblay, Crac Fontenoy/ 2011: L’autel aux corbeaux / Les animaux chanteurs, Château de Castelnau Bretenoux/ 2012: L’autel aux corbeaux, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Hôtel de Mongelas, Paris.
canopic jars: these "wide-mouthed" clay vases, swaying between the two worlds of the "visible and the invisible" hold a great attraction for me. They bring me back to the kingdom of the night…
black Moons: to do them, I crumpled the newspaper “Le Monde”. I screwed it into a ball and then rolled it in a bath of paraffin wax to give it a new skin. A crater skin, erected into a moon rock, an ink constellation... Portions of sky, lying empty. These small gaps look like black holes.
hand: the hands remember and find each other. I like their eloquent silence.
objects/sign: keys, cups, spoons, seeds, hands, feet, birds, sandals… these archetypal and universal figures and objects/signs, weaving invisible bonds between each other, have for several years now been my grammar of shapes, challenging nature’s image and opposing reality and illusions. A little curio cabinet …
bone: to cross the dunes towards the ocean as a child, I embraced the odour of little wild mayweeds and collected small bird skeletons, white as cuttlefish bones and lighter than a breath, as fine and fragile as a stretched toffee…
dugout: the object and its double. Discovered in the museum storeroom, it became an obvious choice of subject when I realized that the Crow, the personification of the Supreme Being in the culture of the Haïda people (the Indians who live on the North-West Coast of Canada) has a magical dugout boat whose size he can change at will (from that of a pine needle to a size big enough to contain the whole universe).
Sound: her metronome, beating out the rhythm of the installations. It bears images, gestures and shapes and is a magic, hypnotic object ”. Sound creation: Jean-François Prigent.
raw clay: For a few years now, I have introduced patches of raw clay into my installations. Clay is a "primitive" material that I chose for its plastic qualities, both symbolic and poetic. It confronts me with the diversity of imaginary symbols but also with its own constraints and paradoxes; the paradox of raw clay tablets (the first “page” of writing had its origins in clay, since it was done on a piece of soft ground) which have come down to us, restoring the memory and history of the ancient civilisations of the Middle East. Its capacity to survive across the centuries fascinates me.
trompe l'oeil: playing on confusions in perception (illusory materials and changes of scale), breaking the codes of time and causing slight giddiness for these world-objects, inspired by the iconography of ancient civilizations. I like the idea that a vestige (from the Latin vestigium: footprint), makes us regain a foothold where giddiness makes us lose it.
glass: for its magical strength and its psychic resonance.