Past: March 16 → May 5, 2012
The Human form exhibition presents two artists whose work questions the human body and all its associations, presenting two diverse artistic perspectives which share common themes but also two approaches which challenge and involve the spectator. For one artist the self develops into a vision while the eye of the second artist turns back upon itself.
Coming from the world of dance, Frédérique Chauveaux has moved from the dancer’s focus on body and movement to that of the director/choreographer creating and capturing images which are in turn retransformed into the three-dimensional. A photographer, Michael McCarthy has moved from behind the camera to become subject and paper. Without indulgence, he explores and transgresses his photographic techniques to discover his body again.
Accustomed to the stage and the immediate relationship with the spectators, Frédérique Chauveaux abandons the distancing video projection screen. She introduces the 3rd dimension into her video installations giving life to inanimate objects: for instance a breathing or flying shirt (Habitations installation). By filming the object as she does, bringing life to it by various processes, re-projecting the created movement onto this same object, she obtains a strange ballet, the quintessence of the object. Breathing life into the inert, she disorients the spectator and disturbs our perceptions, leading one to question the nature of reality until one is led inexorably to feel a longing to touch and participate.
The themes she focuses on- sensuousness, eroticism, desire, suffering — and her uncommon artistic approach involve the spectator emotionally and physically. Frédérique Chauveaux’s video installations have been presented during the Nuits blanches festival in Paris in 2009 and 2010. Her Bon voyage! installation was commissioned in 2010 by the Louis Vuitton company and displayed at the Carnavalet Museum from October 2010 to February 2011.
Always interested in historic photo techniques (cyanotypes, gum bichromate prints, photograms, etc.), Michael McCarthy begins developing an ambitious photography program at Ursinus College (PA, USA), in 1997, to permit the study of photography techniques from all eras. Crossing media boundaries and mixing alternative and historic photo techniques allows for the creation of a unique vision and artistic universe which is part photography, part painting and drawing. Using tools as varied as brushes, pencils, files and sandpaper, his negatives and prints are worked over and over again through chemical processes, cutting, folding, shredding and other manipulations.
In the various series displayed in the Human Form exhibition, the body is like an archaeological find just pulled from the earth: tattered, broken, worn downEwith bits of ochre, orange and burnt umber clinging here and there. These forms speak of a tension, a push and pull between subject and object; some images reading as sculptural forms to be contemplated while others stare back disconcertingly.
Frédérique Chauveaux: dancer, performer, choreographer, director of her own dance company, Frédérique Chauveaux has fulfilled every role with talent, on the most prestigious stages, working with the most famous directors. In 1998, she discovers video, which quickly becomes her passion; she quite naturally continues her experimentations on the body and its motion.
Michael McCarthy: holder of diplomas in History and Photography (the latter awarded by the Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, USA). Michael McCarthy begins his career as a photography professor and artist in Pennsylvania (USA). He travels frequently in the U.S. and abroad, living and teaching for four years in Italy (Rome, Cortona and Florence) then for two years in Greece before settling for the last three years in France. Throughout this period he continues exhibiting his work in galleries and museums in the U.S. and in Europe.
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Michael Mc Carthy