The theory of the Wraparound Universe is the work of the astrophysicist, mathematician, poet and novelist Jean-Pierre Luminet, speculating since the 90s on the potential forms of the Universe. He thus proposes the hypothesis of a finite space, much smaller than it is believed to see (or not to see). To enlighten us, Luminet takes the example of a sheet of paper, well-defined outlines, and then he crushes and he crumples it: the folds of this structure generate complex connections plunging us into a powerful optical illusion made of ghost images of distant galaxies.
The artists in this exhibition share the desire to think and reinvent our perception of the cosmos. They share common topics: landscape, nature, topography and topology, and diverse forms of fictional writing, from science fiction to fake documentary. Their space-time interlink naturally with each other, without creating confusion. They dig the layers of the earth, making questions grow, create plants and bunches, building islands and mountains, revealing the periphery, the underside, illuminating the invisible through the moonlight, free from gravity, sometimes even from the material body to unfold new horizons.
Josèfa Ntjam, inspired by the cosmological unknown, she projects herself into parallel dimensions and future potentials. Drenching in Afrofuturist work, carried by her own writing of images-words, she presents her new film Tableau-ciel, face contre terre (Painting-sky, face against the ground) a 2.0 journey, mixing 3D images of the ocean, satellite captures of Mount Cameroon or Youtube videos of forgotten dances. Combined with pygmy songs or divinatory incantations, a voice-over accompanies this visual digression. ” My head is too heavy to think of tomorrow, I invent some forms, an unspeakable body. The statue became seaweed in at the bottom of the sea, alongside the faded plastic fish. The arm is extended to catch the running leg, a wide gap over the fire”. The excerpt echoes to J’ai pensé à vous (I thought of you) an installation of ten plaster hands offering flower bouquets. The flowers, however, don’t really smell , since each of these compositions is a mix of mixing real plants and plastics reproductions, with everlasting colors and petals. In tension between kitsch and emotion, the work evokes a commemorative monument, althouth it is difficult to determine what /who it is honoring: a tribute to the dead, an offering to some unknown gods, parade of a vanished society?
Plants are also at the heart of Exposition Périphérique (Peripheral Exhibition) by Marie Ouazzani & Nicolas Carrier, a film with documentary accents following a group of scientists characterized by slow and light gestures, in the act of studying, sampling and taking care of the green spaces around the Paris ring road. The shots of these natural interstices on the bottom of bitumen are interspersed with the Latin names of each plant, along with the description of their properties, which we could think that they are made-up. We learn that the “Paulownia Tomentosa”, native of Asia, is often found on wasteland, its porcelain leaves have a protective effect, or that the “Conyza Canadensis” is a herb native to North America that is deployed in peri-urban areas, on industrial sites and railways. “Every step of his dance keeps the witches away.” By focusing on abandoned spaces, on the between Concrete Island by JG Ballard and the Life of Plants by Emanuele Coccia The the duo accomplishes an act of resistance . Finally, another kind of researchers are deployed in Lacune, a photographic diptych of a South Korean ship worthy of an science fiction novel: nebulous investigation scene, neo-archaeological site, ruin or imminent installation on lunar territory?
Anna Ternon “always believed that the islands were pieces of land that floated on the surface of the water.” Topographic work is a dedication to this submerged part of the island, invisible and yet monumental. The artist, fascinated by geomorphology, made a series between the extraterrestrial object and the architect model: the ground or stone composing these sculptures are joined by brass wires generationg topographic representations. Each of his models comes from her exploration of a material or technique, as pretexts to discover new ways of creating. She also suspends a series of serigraphies on which wax is applied . paraffin become wave, cloud, or milky way on an sky-blue, gray or black background and opens the door to pareidolies. Multivers collide to create a space for infinite reflection. We sit on cushions, closer to the earth, we taste herbal infusions, and we let ourselves be carried away by cosmic mirages.
Manon Klein – April 2019