Terrain fragile


Drawing, installation, photography

Terrain fragile

Past: September 8 → October 20, 2012

The exhibition “Terrain fragile” (“Fragile Grounds”) presents the works of three major artists, illustrating different generations of the French-German scene. Here, each of them was eager to contrast their own universe to the others’ at the gallery Marie Cini, particularly taking into account its architectural space.

Importantly, most of these site-specific pieces have never been exhibited before. Photographs by Dominique Ghesquière, best known for her sculptures and installations, are presented to the public for the first time. Markus Hansen’s works have all been designed specifically for the exhibition.

The artists were thus able to offer visitors works that are complementary in their view, all revolving around the theme of fragility.

Color photographs by Ghesquière open the exhibition. Facing the entrance to the gallery, “Foule” (“Crowd”) (2003) evokes a timeless and mysterious event. A hundred chairs occupy the whole composition, becoming increasingly unstable in the foreground. On the right-hand side, the second photograph “Autumn” (2004) is almost akin to a wasteland, which also represents fragility. The small shrub in the foreground just cast its leaves after the temperature dropped, announcing Fall. Along the same lines, “Bouquet de tulips” (“Bouquet of tulips”) (sculpture, polyurethane, 2010) is inconspicuous; a vase, as an object taken out of ever-day life, contains a very delicate bouquet. Deprived from daylight for some time, the wretched tulips are left devoid of chlorophyll. Without this bouquet, the vase could also be considered as a “ready-made” object.

Delicacy is also at the heart of the work of Ulrike Möschel, who got interested in our architecture. One of the capitals of the gallery has particularly caught her attention. “Pilier fantôme” (“Ghost Pillar”) (2012) is an imaginary column that comes back to life and subtly disrupts our field of vision. As an enigmatic, monochrome and minimalist piece, it might remind some visitors of Ariadne’s thread in the Iliad. Cotton threads woven from the capital to the ground suggests a very poetic quality.

Markus Hansen also worked with the architecture of the gallery. Like an extension of Möschel’s column, a discreet drawing spelling out “Love” and “Honour” appears on the floor. This ground material comes from a black hole pierced just above the wall, which symbolizes nothingness. Made with a stencil, the inscription “Love / honour” (2012) refers to heraldry and recalls the virtues of love and honor presented as a form of everlasting identity.

The artists also played with textures and materials to express fragility, such as a drawing on watercolor paper burned by Markus Hansen, “Wasserfall” (Waterfall, 2012), where vacant and full spaces interact harmoniously. The landscape represented is borrowed from “Waterfall in lower Telemark”, a typical German Romantic canvas, painted in 1852 by the Norwegian painter August Cappelen.

As for Ghesquière, she used “Magazines” (2002) which are excessively wrinkled and worn out. Like magazines that can be sometimes found in waiting rooms, Dominique Ghesquière’s are just about to fall into pieces. However, visitors are authorized to touch them — with the utmost care as required by their fragility.

The final piece of the exhibition is a video, “Mirror Dance” (2012), directed by Markus Hansen. The artist refers here to the doubt that settles through the mirror effects settling between choreographer-dancer Chrystel Calvet and dancer Anna Broquet, with whom he collaborated of the project. The entire video obviously deals with instability, a recurring theme in the artist’s work.

Adrien Pasternak, curator, September, 2012

  • Opening Saturday, September 8, 2012 4 PM → 9 PM
Marie Cini Gallery Gallery
Map Map
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

16, rue Saint-Claude

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 71 44 12


Saint-Sébastien – Froissart

Opening hours

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

The artists

  • Dominique Ghesquière
  • Markus Hansen
  • Ulrike Möschel