Presentation of works created during residencies and for individual and group exhibitions in Brazil, in 2002-2004
What remains from fragments met at the surface of the landscape, which capture the look?
Gestures enable the collection of these fragments: they are part of the displacement of the body in space and are the culmination point of what is lived as a crossing. In this contact point, the look becomes tactile when encountering matter.
Extracted from their original environment, these fragments leave their print in negative.
This absence, linked to their disappearance, is underlined by the use of white, responding to the initial gesture of withdrawal from the landscape, that it extends.
By stealing their own color, replaced by a « non-color », we accompany their disappearance while at the same time, their texture reveals itself gradually and they appear brighter.
Put back in their original environment, they oscillate between presence and absence.
While making eruption between the tree roots as if emerging from plowed soil, in In the fold of trees (Au pli des arbres), the shadow that digs on their edge, anchors them again in the landscape, by lifting the profound darkness back to the surface.
In Without word (Sans parole), these fragments lay on the ground floor of the exhibition area, left to themselves and handed over to the look of the spectator as so many traces of a past experience, resurfacing, and whose story is to be reinvented.
The shadow of the branches slips between the pages of an open book right on the floor, in Adjourned crossing (Traversée en suspens), and leads us to a behind of (un en-deça de) the image: the darkness that precedes its coming is also the condition of its visibility.
These fragments of plants are as many abandoned remains on the surface of a landscape that is walked around in its extent. As they mark it out, and punctuate our displacements, they soon become the motive of our investigations.
Collected, before disappearing, then, withdrawn, they reappear shining in full light, for the duration of an exhibition, and are as many clues for the reading of the viewer. The drop shadow presents itself to the look as an enigma, inviting it in turn to look at the features of an unknown, of an other or an elsewhere.
The transformation of matter in the workshop (moving from color to white) is similar to applying a second skin breathing new life to the collected remains of the landscape.
Their brightness makes them equivalent to ornaments that enter into dialogue with the exhibition spaces, indoors or outdoors. As for the drop shadow, it reads like a duplication of the image, of which it underlines the transitory nature.
The repetition of gestures reflects an attempt to recover the time: those of collection, associated to an act of recollection, of transformation of matter, of staging in space/shadow and light.
The time of the exhibition is superimposed on the time of our displacements, upstream, that the viewer takes up through its multiple comings and goings made between these transformed fragments of landscape.
A crossing occurs; a silent dialogue takes place.
This silence is crossed by the « bride » during the performance given for the exhibition The garden of harvest (Le jardin des récoltes) : her (repetitive) gesture of unwinding a spool of thread follows the displacements and weaves a link between the different spaces, interior and exterior : the place of the exhibition as well as the one of our investigations.
Treading by foot on spaces traveled in the past, she updates it and, by doing so, she opens a breach to the space-outcome of the image.
By the collection, displacement and transformation of what constitutes the actual matter of the landscape, transformed into the material of our installations, these repeated gestures are part of an attempt to reverse time, to negotiate the limit between presence and absence, appearance and disappearance.
If these materials, reintroduced in their original environment, appear as excrescences of the landscape, they are also worked like excrescences of time, that they “thwart”.
The hanging veils in In the fold of trees (Au pli des arbres) and Without word (Sans parole) are swaying in the wind, and materialize its blow: the ghostly presence of these silent bells evokes the veil of the bride who stands out as figure of transition.
Hence, these works crafted from a given landscape, offer us a new reading, mindful of the traces of the past, bursting into the present, to give rise to the image, in the shape of installations and photos.
Christine Enrègle, Visual artist, June 2015
* Mehdi Brit, Exhibition of Laurence Nicola, Haut-Pavé Gallery, Paris, 2015.