Ever since she started out as an artist, Tania Mouraud has continually deterritorialised and reterritorialised her practice. Regularly calling into question the form of her work, she nevertheless continues her exploration tenaciously and resolutely between concept and perceptible space. In 1989, Loïc Malle described, it seemed to me, what sounded like the programme, the key element, the principle of Tania Mouraud’s work, the principle at work: a ‘critical awareness of the subject in its perceptive, cognitive and linguistic relation to the world’ (Tania Mouraud, CAC Pablo Neruda).
‘This is what I saw,’ she tells us. But what is seeing? What do we see? _ Is there something to see beyond that which is visible, there in front of us? Tania Mouraud’s images have the distinction of containing all the images of the world. To see is to continually attempt to resolve an enigma, to attempt to discover a different reality from the one we perceive. To see, to create images, is to bring out meaning, give sense to something. Before every image, we are in search of the missing image. For Pascal Quignard, the visible is not enough to understand what is seen; the visible can only be interpreted with reference to the invisible. ‘There is an image missing in every image. . . . The image that is to be seen, which is before being seen, is missing in the image’ (Sur l’image qui manque à nos jours, Arléa, 2014).
For the ‘AD NAUSEAM’ exhibition, it was decided to give prominence to two paths followed by Tania Mouraud in her work. Apparently contradictory and antagonistic, they are nevertheless complementary. The exhibition thus plays on such polarities as inside/outside, high/low and physicality/abstraction. Tania Mouraud’s works invite us to slow down, to free ourselves from speed. Tania Mouraud creates an art of meditation.
On the one hand, the museum space is occupied by a monumental audiovisual installation; on the other, writings (banners on the façade, admission tickets, posters in the town) contaminate the surrounding urban space. On the one hand, images in movement and sounds; on the other, text images, phrases. On the one hand, the muted violence of AD NAUSEAM; on the other, ‘MEMEPASPEUR’, ‘CEUXQUINEPEUVENTSERAPPELERLEPASSESONTCONDAMNESALEREPETER’ and ‘IHAVEADREAM’. On the one hand, the programmed, mechanical destruction of the living; on the other, the affirmation of a resistance, of a collective dream. On the one hand, the report on a permanent disaster; on the other, the ephemeral affirmation of a hope nevertheless. On the one hand, a machinic universe that grinds and crushes ad libitum; on the other hand, a call to human consciences. On the one hand, the noise of fog, metaphor; on the other, a plunge into the world and the letter. On the one hand, a permanent recombination of images and sounds to construct a mental space in phase with bodies; on the other, writings that interrupt, induce a pause in, the flux of reality. Here and there, the same desire to slow down. Here and there, the journeys of the eye, the body and the mind.