Clémence Renaud, Elizaveta Konovalova
Curated by Sarah Mercadante
Cairns are man-made constructions made to serve humans by marking places that are meaningful in terms of remembrance, orientation, or victory. They are made of wood, stones and other materials found in the area and stand out as human artefacts in plain nature. One of the common traits is their usage as markers.
The exhibition lends itself to explore the idea that every-day objects may become, in the hands of artists, markers or reference points, like cairns. With two installations by Clémence Renaud and Elizaveta Konovalova, “Cairns” sets out to shift the usual function of the contemporary art gallery by showing artworks that seek to distance the scene of the exhibition itself.
The video and sound installation Productions parallels by Clémence Renaud questions our relations to place and exhibition space by creating a scene that links the external space of a forest landscape with the internal space of the gallery.
The viewer is presented with a device whose reference point is a loudspeaker built into the wall. As the speaker, first on its own, is joined by a projected image, it transforms itself into a plinth and starts to emit what sounds like sobbing voices that will gradually fade. The work creates a rhythm of appearances and disappearances that orchestrates the temporality of the exhibition.
With Productions parallels Clémence Renaud keeps to the white-painted wooden plinths that form part of her usual work, yet decided to confront them with the environment they originate from: the pine forests whose timber they are made of.
Plinths form an integral part of her work, as do frames and microphones. They seem to talk to us and often convey a kind of uncertainty: normally used as transmission tools, they see their role diverted to serve one and the same event, that of the exhibition.
Elizabeta Konovalova's Reaching for the moon, starting from the same space, is an installation spread out on the gallery floor where it invites visitors to contemplate each of their steps.
The viewer, intuitively moving about in his own way, finds his pace altered by Reaching for the moon. Comparing the suggested steps with his first intuitions, he realizes how inconceivable the proposition is: the heels balanced on their worn-out edge go against all force of gravity.
Reaching for the moon starts with the sensible and real experience of the viewer, twists it and creates a new mode of reference: it is the encounter between someone else's tracks, the artist's as it is, and the visitor's recollection of the steps that led him to the artwork.
Both installations, Reaching for the moon, and Productions parallèles, tend to abolish the difference between the interior and the exterior of the gallery, one with its impossible balance, and the other with its many shifts of places.
In view of these unlikely situations the public will find with “Cairns” an opportunity to rethink the way we read artworks, the place of the viewer, and even more, the role of the exhibition and its place.
Translation by FRANK'S