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PERHAPS THIS GARDEN EXISTS ONLY IN THE SHADE OF OUR DOWNCAST EYELIDS by ÉLISE PEROI at CENTRE D’ART CONTEMPORAIN CHANOT curated by JEAN-MARC DIMANCHE [from 20221015 to 20221211]
[Photos: Margot Montigny]
Élise Peroi’s installation structures are at once paintings, weavings, or perhaps even more like sculptures… A bit like nature on the move, a standing garden, dreamt or fantasized, a sensitive and volatile echo to Michel Foucault’s heterotopias and Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Whether it is in her architectural installations in which carrier constructions rise, or more recently through her garden plans laid on the ground like carpets both decomposed and recomposed of textile pieces and natural materials, Élise Peroi never stops exploring the art of weaving. Work, or should we say a gaze, that summons fullness and emptiness, always in close relation with the elements that surround us. The plant of course, the mineral, light and shadow, the very air we breathe. I seek simultaneously the manner of translating the breath of the landscape and the landscape as inhabited place, she likes to specify. Inspired by the book Living off Landscape, or The Unthought-of in Reason by François Jullien, she seeks to translate an all-encompassing vision of the world, where everything that surrounds us “is no longer a matter of ‘seeing’, but of living*”.
At the heart of the CACC, and deep in the garden that surrounds it, this fall Élise Peroi offers us a landscape installation, unveiling her latest work, created in the spring during her residency at the Academia Belgica, in Rome. A promenade, one might say, that the artist wished as an inversion of time and space. The saga of an inner nature woven in order to lose us but also perhaps better find us. Where does the garden end ? Where does the painted work begin ? As soon as you enter, the mirrors and transparencies merge, the reflections mingle with the trees or the works, and the sky meddles with them to illuminate us with the glow of autumn. The sails are raised for a new odyssey that suddenly takes us to more distant lands ; cities of flowers, cities of leaves, cities of clouds… cities erected, suspended before us in a forest dressed with astonishing colors and populated with unknown birds. Here is a new nature which seems to advance, to push back the horizon of the walls surrounding us as if to invade the entire place, confusing the interior with the exterior. There are landscapes without a location and stories that cannot be told, and all of Élise Peroi’s art is to allow us to see and believe them. Weaver and storyteller, painter and sculptor, she has the power to lead us into an enchanted world, an extraordinary garden planted at the edge of reality. The duration of a moment… and probably even more of an eternity.
*François Jullien, Living off Landscape, or the Unthought-of in Reason, Bibliothèque des idées, Gallimard, 2014.
[Text: Jean-Marc Dimanche]
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