Cendrine Rovini & Paul Toupet — Persona
Cendrine Rovini & Paul Toupet
Past: June 23 → July 23, 2016
On the occasion of her third solo exhibition, the Galerie Da-End invites Cendrine Rovini to show her delicate drawings on paper alongside the sculptural works of plastic artist Paul Toupet. Reunited for the first time, the two French artists have jointly decided to explore the idea of identity through the theme of persona.
Deriving from personare in Latin (« to speak through »), the word persona originally designates the masks worn by comedians in ancient theater plays. Around that image, diverse mental representations have then crystallized: « Persona is also the character that we built for ourselves over time, » explains Cendrine Rovini.
« The mask that we wear in front of the others, and which seems so important that we sometimes forget we are not always this (or these) mask(s). »
Theorized by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung in his 1933 essay «The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious», the notion of persona reveals an intrinsic ambiguity of the human personality: if one is too concerned about appearance, wouldn’t he or she end up losing sight of the true self? Cendrine Rovini’s latest works on paper particularly contemplate the idea of depersonalization. They allow to see souls extracted from their mortal coil, filiform bodies with hazy shapes that seem to wander about in oneiric lands. Mutating, lost, split into two, Rovini’s characters appear to be tangible manifestations of an inner confusion, jungian ectoplasm seeking reunification.
The exhibition Persona unfolds before the visitor’s eye a story of porous lines between the real world and the fictional, childhood and adulthood, the conscious and the unconscious, the familiar and the disquieting. Facing Paul Toupet’s sculptures, picturing playful children and teenagers with bunny masks, an identification process begins due to the scale and apparent humanity of the characters. The encounter with them nevertheless turns into a destabilizing experience because of the masks, that not only hide their face but also maybe, symbolically, their true intentions.
Though drawing inspiration in occidental Christian art as well as popular art, Paul Toupet seems to delight in pervading his works with a certain magic thought inherited from primitive arts. Loading the inert materials with an emotional power and animating his creations with an immanent presence, there lies his primary wish. By getting these two artists together, the Galerie Da-End enjoins the public to a journey at the heart of the mysterious nooks of human psyche.
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