Nature humaine: Nuée
This exhibition is my first solo exhibition. I did it while I was studying my MA at Laval University, in February of the first year. So it was only 6 months after I started the master's degree, and only 4 months after starting this project that I presented 99 ceramic works and a dozen cyanotypes.
This project started from a casting idea that I had from an old wall hang decoration that I always liked, but hated at the same time. It attracted me, yet repelled me. After casting it as it was, then realizing that this copy I had produced was worthless, I managed to isolate what was wrong. Not only was the form banal except for some parts, but in addition there was nothing more in the objet than what you saw. The shape totally revealed itself which brought nothing to the world. For me, the enigma is much more interesting by its ability to make us think. The problem (one of them at least) of this object was that it was not problematic. It presents itself as such, and designates nothing more. I realised then that it was necessary to open the meanings for it to be an artwork, to make it into a question to make it philosophy.
I have therefore worked towards altering this reproduction in order to produce an original work while following, though instinctively, the principles enunciated above. It must be said that this analysis that I produce now did not even come to mind during the creation: when I create, I create. I do not think, I'm listening. Then it happened and i had the shape. This first master I composed had the effect of a small bomb, intriguing everyone who experienced it. I had the idea of molding it and making copies of it. The original idea was to produce 100 (I exposed 99 without realizing it) and make them all orange. Or orange and blue. But after doing one or two, I quickly realized that repetition did not interest me. What I liked was exploration, experimentation. Now, I believe, this is where the work of the artist lies: in experimentation.
So I began to individualize each one of them by the final glazing or coloring i applied. Finally I also began to individualize the forms themselves directly, modifying them while they were freshly unmolded. Using everything around me, I proceeded to twist them, cut them, slash them, pierce them. I got busy. From 9h to 16h in the molding shop, then dinner at the apartment, then return to the workshop to glaze or prepare the cyanotypes for the next day.
Speaking of cyanotypes, I started the master's degree in analog photography and developed film and papers in a dark room. I bought a cyanotype kit, I tried to make photograms on fabrics and I fell in love. With colors, shades, movement I could get. My first cyanotype, I still have it.
Finally I made a whole bunch of them, experimenting with color variations. Then I designated a type of oak frame, I made with François Raymond of the wood workshop. It was a technical challenge, but I think it was really worth it.
Since it was the first time I exhibited, there were lots of questions I was asking myself. One of them was necessarily that of price: how much is a work of art worth? And even more: How much is MY work of art worth? At first I thought 200 $ per piece, then I thought it down to 100. I was told: "do not sell cheap, you do art, not crafts. Do not mix both, the world must understand. I was confused. Then I saw clearly. $ 19.99. One 20$ bill, the green one. Everyone has one in its pocket. You have one and its gone, its how much 20$ is nothing. It was the price I chose. I wanted several things from this:
- Make my art accessible to everyone
- That it changes people thanks to its constant contact in the home
- Establish a point: the art is a food necessity, and if one applies the rules of the industry (which I obviously do not adopt by individualizing each molding), it should be accessible to all. Art is not an expensive quality, it is a sensitive quality. And this $ 19.99 price was a comeback to the original object that I had molded and modified, saying you should be replaced.
This idea of accessibility and necessity of art is always present in my work and I try to make it grow as well. I speak about it in the section Statement of the site if it interests you.
I do not think it is necessary to specify that during the few days that the exhibition lasted, I sold an incredible quantity. I even met a collector who bought me 15 of them and at whom I went to do an installation. She told me that she wanted them on the wall of her bedroom since they inspired a flight and would help her get up every morning! I had some nice encounters, gained experience and saw that although an exhibition of this kind required crazy work, it was feasible. The next would not be far away...
I thank for this exhibition my first director, Joëlle Tremblay who has undoubtedly left me enough room so that I explore freely within myself, without ever braking me of a track which proved already non-avenue for an outside look, but that a hasty judgment would have prevented a flower to bloom.
I also certainly thank Sébastien Vachon, the molding tech of Laval University and my mentor. It was he who made me discover the ceramic molding, who welcomed me into his workshop, which was conciliatory about the space (3 tables) that I occupied every day to produce my works, the infinite cycle of firing, and the good laughs!
I also thank Louis, Clémence and Sarah for organizing the reception of the amazing vernissage!
I thank Emmanuelle "Manue" Hoarau for the lighting and the supports in the installation.
I thank, of course, my parents who supported me in my studies.
I finally thank Matante, who helped me get up even when I thought it had become impossible, which helped me to finish my frames, to fix attachments to the artworks, to hang and install all these artworks and that always supported and supports me in my projects.