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Past: December 9, 2017 → January 27, 2018

Maybe you won’t believe this. A little clover has grown out of the stem of another four-leaved clover linked itself to a five-leaved clover ( 366, 2017). What incredible luck and fortunate coincidence were combined to allow for such a godsend? Between two downpours, surprized by a ray of sun, a rainbow has been formed. Now it has been brought into the gallery ( arc, 2017), just as fortunately as the clovers, while the sun captured on film kisses a tree, imposing its authoritative presence by erasing part of the trunk ( small kiss, 2017). Looking up to the ceiling, one perceives an enigmatic, stunningly simple sentence. Addressed to a solitary, elevated spectator, its evocative power fills the nostrils and brings him/her down to the ground: « summer rain on asphalt » ( toi et moi, 2017). Water has been poured into two glasses; the hem of liquid ready to gush forward is held in a fragile balance on the crystal surface to merge in a febrile trouble spot ( nothing ever happened, 2014). Another quite as enigmatic phenomenon can also be perceived: plants are shaken by silent laughter ( folie, 2017). From the Taiwanese jungle to the German forest, what kind of a strange sweep of gestures, facts and absent objects — a priori — of any quality, has Charlotte Seidel choreographed here?

The artist has taken luck into her hands. She has searched for as many four-leaved clovers as there are days in the year. She has looked — and we look with her — for “what is the most difficult to discover”1. She has come across what is neither a region nor a locality, even less so a spectacle. “Insignificant”, “without truth, without reality, without a secret”2, with neither subject nor object, “with no event”3, where apprehending everyday life seems impossible. The moment one lives everyday life, it remains “unperceived”4. Could this be one of the reasons for Charlotte Seidel’s commitment? Steeped in an everydayness that we ignore, we can only make sense of the ordinary by enrolling it into a coherent whole, a posteriori. Besides, Maurice Blanchot acknowledges that, at most, we can “review everyday life”5. Impossible to see for the first time; once it has taken place, it has already been missed. Do the works presented here allow us to _re_view it?

In the gallery’s basement, the walls breathe, and the tide seeps through what could be assimilated to the crypt of an Early Christian church. Charlotte Seidel has chosen to display an empty cloche here, which no longer protects anything. The glass is blurred by traces of mineral salts, suggesting evaporation. And not just any evaporation : that of water from Lourdes. The miracle has disappeared. All that remains is the mark of an absence, presented as an apparition ( sans titre, 2017). Would that also be what the empty seat, still warm from a vanished presence, suggests ( Joseph, 2005/2017)? The artist asks us to believe her, in the manner we believe in the everyday rituals that rule our lives. Coins have rusted on a sheet of watercolour paper. They draw a deficient composition, dancing on a musical score on which the notes are spoiled, leaving the mark of their passage as if they were at the bottom of a fountain ( Il arrive qu’on aperçoive les étoiles, 2017). The circles formed by oxidation remind us of the ochre stains on old photographs yellowed by time — the time it takes to make them disappear and lead us think of what has been ( Yesterday, 2013). At the same time, travelling (2013) takes us right up close to a blurred image whose very slow apparition almost extinguishes it. Do Charlotte Seidel’s works honour something aside from themselves? Could their manifestation serve an exterior finality ? Her works bear something religious within themselves and appeal to our credulity. Located in our everyday life, born from the most indistinguishable ordinariness, they allow us to review the vacuity of our beliefs, our superstitious gestures and forms of bigotry. Like memento mori placed in a space inhabited by something similar to the sacredness of a church, these works reveal the obsolete beauty of the ordinary, the incapacity to escape time’s grasp, and the vanity of having believed in it.

1 Maurice Blanchort, La Parole quotidienne (1962), in L’Entretien infini, Gallimard, Paris, 1969, p. 355.

2 Ibid., p. 357.

3 Ibid., p. 363.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid., p. 358.

Sophie Lapalu. Translation in English by Emmelene Landon
  • Opening Saturday, December 9, 2017 6 PM → 9 PM


    a solo show by Charlotte Seidel

    December 09th — December 23rd 2017 // January 09th — January 27th 2018

03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

73-75, rue Quincampoix

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 77 05 97 — F. 01 42 76 94 47

Les Halles

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 1 PM / 2 PM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment

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Venue schedule

The artist

  • Charlotte Seidel