The art of Nathalie Talec (born 1960) constitutes a portrait of the artist as explorer, a self-portrait with or without storm microphone, with or without glasses for assessing distances in a cold land.
The exploration of the polar regions (discovery, surveying, mapping and survival techniques for extreme conditions) becomes a metaphor of art in its quest for the absolute and the elementary.
From her ﬁrst imaginary or real expeditions to the Frozen North to the exploration of systems for representing the world – from the science of pop songs to sitcoms – Nathalie Talec is interested in halfway states, intermediate positions and zones of uncertainty.
Thus, what she is really probing in her combinations and agglomerations from various sources (the histories of science and art, personal anecdotes, etc.) is the ﬁctionalisation of the real.
Ever since her ﬁrst works made in 1979, the artist has been the central ﬁgure in this experiment with or experience of the world.
For Nathalie Talec the manifestations, narratives and mythologies of cold, but also its contrary, and steam and condensation, too, constitute tools for situating herself in the world, an instrument of analysis
and subjective location, of metaphysical reﬂection.
Paradoxically, cold is a state
with rich imaginary and
yet at the same time it creates
a sense of distance: it freezes
and immobilises. The artist’s
constant use of the feigned, the
factitious, of artiﬁce, simulacra
and lip-synching, all partake
of this twofold movement of
immersion and withdrawal.
This ﬁrst retrospective charts
an artistic adventure that began
thirty years ago. Neither
chronological nor exhaustive,
it brings together some thirty
works (drawings, videos,
performances, projects) like
so many ﬁctional markers,
initiators of narrative and
decoys. It units vintage pieces,
recreations and new works in
a novel ensemble, a conception
that is itself literally an artwork.