Isabelle Plat — Je t’ai dans Sa peau


Installation, sculpture

Isabelle Plat
Je t’ai dans Sa peau

Past: March 14 → June 27, 2020

The exhibition is accessible by appointment. Reservation by phone or online


After her first solo show in 2016 and a booth at ArtParis in April 2019, for which she made a baroque, hairy cavern from steel and animal hair, Isabelle Plat will present her new solo exhibition, I’ve got you under their skin from March 14- April 18 2020 at the Galerie Eric Mouchet.

Recent works by Isabelle Plat are a breath of fresh air for 21st century sculpture. Her approach or, a priori, practice stems both from science (epistemology), savoir-faire (craftsmanship and post-medium) and a certain ecology (feminine/masculine/animal relationships).

From her first sculptures which already incorporate notions of torsion and the unsettled body of the viewer, in Slaughtered Ox in 2020, a certain conception of surface has been constructed and no longer limits itself to its two-dimensional surface area, or simply to the external face of a body. The work of sculptor Isabelle Plat acts like a membrane, taking all possible contacts with materials into account.

Right away, the “How did you make it?” question arises!
Turned inside-out like a glove, pants, a coat, a shirt, or even the male/female genital apparatus (Reversible Intimacy), containers become contents. Their material, added to the interior of a pliable mesh network made from human and cow hair and resin, petrified with solvents, primer and sealant, mixed with fabric, sewn, pierced with holes, resewn and even painted, to keep it all together.

Masculin / Feminin
A man’s Burberry coat (Darcey offers you his Burberry) references a particular social status, which clashes with its double: a woman’s cheap flowered night shirt. The intrusion of the trivial upon the elegant certainly references class wars, but mostly points to breaking the social codes, transgressing the border: the border separating the sexes, artistic genres, the intimate from the “extimate”. Men’s suits are literally stuffed with women’s suits. Very simply, from the interior, with sharp discretion, Isabelle Plat profanes the conventions.

*“Un-skinned” Baroque *
Two key characteristics of the baroque style are synthesized within the sculptures of Isabelle Plat: the study of movement, and the proximity to the vernacular in the expression of the sublime. For instance, a bloody red interior gives a large black wool coat (Whirling Dirvish) the quality of freshly peeled skin, with drops of scarlet resin seem to crawl upwards rather than drip to the ground. Is it painting in ecstasy? The image reminds us of the red threads of Vermeer’s The Lacemaker that symbolize menstrual blood, marking the blank page of every female worker on the day of her passage into womanhood. Baroque usage of devices that bring the viewer and the work to the same level: it’s a bit like the baldachin of Saint Peter’s in Rome, which we find on a large pink satin ribbon that ties the feet of the Slaughtered Ox hung from metal hooks!

The Other in the body of the beast
This ox is a swing. Its scarlet straps slice through its cream interior, dripping all the way down below its metal seat. We are thus invited to place our bodies within that of the imaginary creature, a chimaera with clothes and animal hair, and there to experience vertigo. The vertigo produced by the success of a revolution, a return to oneself via this “Other”, which, therefore, we are. Isabelle Plat offers grace, and makes this often repudiated animality graceful. The status of body hair, notably in comparison to head hair, also reveals a taboo in our culture.

Animal skin is often camouflage. We make it alluring by projecting values of greatness or power to animals. Isabelle Plat invites us into this primal mimesis which consists of imitating in order to appropriate the qualities of the other. Isabelle Plat reveals the person to whom the clothes belonged, who is not present. She also reveals that which was rejected (scrap material, used clothes, sanitized animality, etc.), but also that which is not visible (the glossed-over manual labor). A process of shaping, starting with the directly visible, that imposes a political and ecological reflection, but also a reflection on the use and destination of the sculpture.

Usable Sculptures
One can enter into Isabelle Plat’s sculptures, either alone or accompanied. The primed fabric invites other bodies within it, not only those marked by the original owner, thereby becoming a re-usable skin. The artist creates sculptures for potential use, both functional and symbolic. They are not performance accessories. The “users” are neither an audience, nor the protagonists of a performative protocol. Performance is not the source nor the destination of useable sculpture. With usable sculpture, we simply become sculpture. Usable Sculpture is a concept conceived by Isabelle Plat. She theorized it in an article for Artpress (n° 434, June 2016, pp. 55-61) and has put it into practice through her artistic research, as well as while curating a group exhibition at the Galerie Maubert in Paris, from September- October 2015.

Marie de Brugerolle
  • Opening Saturday, March 14, 2020 4 PM → 9 PM
06 St Germain Zoom in 06 St Germain Zoom out

45, rue Jacob

75006 Paris

T. 01 42 96 26 11


Opening hours

Every day except Sunday, 11 AM – 1 PM / 2 PM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment et sur RDV

The artist

  • Isabelle Plat