With « Émoi & moi » the MAC/VAL has brought together works by fifteen artists for whom introspection is a creative force for its first temporary exhibition for 2013. These are artists who explore questions of existence and who hold distinct, critical perspectives of reality stemming from knowledge of oneself. Looking into the mirror and playing with the idea that art might be an expression of the interior landscape, this exhibition reflects upon what might be termed archaeology of the self. How can one give form to the impalpable, the irrational, the invisible, to emotions and to the passage of fleeting moments? If creating mental spaces is one of art’s roles, how does one represent them? This dilemma, perhaps an impossibility, is at the heart of the fertile dynamic of the works in this exhibition, allowing us to pose a number of essential questions: What is a Subject? How is it constructed? What is a work of art? How do artists play with the interface between the self and the exterior world?
In response to these questions, Frank Lamy has brought together a selection of unique works by artists of diverse backgrounds and generations.
Absalon’s Cellules pursue reflections upon the body’s insertion into a space situated somewhere between imprisonment and intimacy. His models play with the projective dimension of all art and function as « housing proposals » Pierre Burgalio has based his questions in the medium of painting as an autobiographical medium. In his Mémento caviardé, an entire year’s worth of activity serves as the starting point for an artistic creation. Pursuing his exploration of the representation and fabrication of imagery, Pascal Convert’s Chambre du sommeil formalizes his mental activity over the course of a single night in 1991. Through his drawings, Simon English creates a sort of mental atlas, in search of lost memories and fleeting moments ranging from Beatrix Potter to rock and roll culture. In Nocturnal, Alexandre Gérard, attempts to understand himself talking in his sleep. Pierre Joseph reconstructs reality and its representations using idiosyncratic means. Joris Lacoste explores hypnosis, and Laura Lamiel ceaselessly combines and juxtaposes her Figures in a veritable reimagining of mental spaces.
In his series « Sleeping city », Dominik Lang brings into question the very idea of inheritance – what are we to do with what our predecessors leave us?
Robert Malaval’s L’aliment Blanc acts as a metaphor of the dark and psychotic forces that spread across the world and destroy reality. Somewhere between autograph collections and castles in the sky, Annette Messager challenges the idea of the subject’s unity, affirming it as a social construction scattered between multiple incarnations.
Daniel Pommereulle’s Objets de prémonition propose a dark perspective of the future, situated somewhere between crualty and aggression. The Pyscho-objets of Jean-Pierre Raynaud are the fruit of personal and symbolic references that bring into play the tension of their emotive and obsessive charge. In all of her work, Tatiana Trouvé creates a metamorphosis of mental clockwork in an approach that is as much psychoanalytical as it is energetic. The series of « Self portraits » by Mark Wallinger affirm the existence of a Subject, one that is polymorphous and fragmented like the very material of art itself.
The starting point of this exhibition, Patrick Mario Bernard, Xavier Brillat and Pierre Trividic’s film Dancing – shown at the MAC/VAL on April 7, 2013 -, responds in part to the questions evoked, illuminating a reflection on art and more generally, on the place of the irrational in the mental landscape of individuals and their daily lives.