Myriam Mechita — Je suis le Phoenix ou l’amour en collier
Je suis le Phoenix ou l’amour en collier
Past: March 28 → May 11, 2013
“[…] and her mind dwelt on them with a kind of physical pleasure such as is caused by the contemplation of bright things hanging in the sun. From them all life seemed to radiate; the very words of books were steeped in radiance.”
Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out, chapter XIII
A portrait gallery dreamed up and drawn by Myriam Mechita overlooks the visitors. Upright women, proud, sensual and pensive; contorted bodies, bruised and pierced with imaginary lines; isolated faces with eyes either closed or looking away. This juxtaposition puts us face to face with a series of paradoxes and contradictions, a multiplicity of identities and postures, body conditions like as many figures of physical pleasure; mystical fables that take us to the heart of the elusive question of passion, where our pleasure is engulfed at the cost of suffering. This physicality of bodies is impressed with a violence that is inscribed on paper without any restraint.
The work stands in front of us like a big animal, a phoenix. It is a fable of resurrection and rebirth: wounded, he died once and was born again, taking off in the sun. The artist is this invisible phoenix, personified in the switches and fractures of the exhibition. The spectators are invited to penetrate this mythical territory so that they can be even more blinded, while Myriam Mechita contemplates her multiple lives, the nebula of her fantasies, the constellation of her desires, the horde of women who keep her standing
With just a simple pencil, Mechita places her feminine figures in sparkling landscapes so that they absorb the light and the fascinated glance of the spectator even more. They rise above a field scattered with bright objects: ceramics covered in platinum, trails of pearls, tear drops of glass or quartz, small bronze objects. Somewhere between transparency and blindness, Mechita’s installations compose with matter as much as with light: folds, reflections, glares, disappearance.
Life and death are only two sides of one reality. Death worms its way into all the interstices of the edifice because it is the place where life sinks and because it is the ultimate experience of the limit. Life entirely builds itself within this distance with death. The woman and the animal, the woman in the animal, the instinct to breed and the necessity of pleasure. The living work of Mechita invests in the paradox inherent to these oppositions.
The exhibition puts us face to face with “a war ceremonial”. The bride is a warrior who wears her jewels like weapons. She-wolf, spider, bride, lover: they’re all getting ready to fight. They equip themselves with fineries made of light to seduce their prey and radiate their enemies.
Myriam Mechita also likes to lose herself in language by re-appropriating the words of authors through which she in turn expresses herself. Living is possible only through exchange and sharing, at the cost of a possible loss of oneself, or a loss of the other. Asserting one’s love, losing oneself in the other in order to turn around again and refuse, temporarily, this irremediable solitude.