EMERGING ARTIST AWARD
NE GARDE-ROBE POUR MON OMBRE / A WARDROBE FOR MY SHADOW
Linen, cotton, wadding and lightning system. Textile installation
I visualize the shadow as a small portable stage, following me like a cloud and creating moving images similar to a dance. I imagine the shadow as a form always in motion, approaching a theatre piece (owning a potential of narration) or choreography.
In “A wardrobe for my shadow”, I trace my own shadows to make patterns for clothing that I tailor afterwards. From these fluid, abstract shapes I create phantasmagorical, improbable, unusable clothes. The spectator is compelled to engage with the work by projecting his or her fleeting shadow onto the clothes. They lie like islands in the dark floor. They lie as bodies sleeping. Quilted, the garments inspire comfort and the lighting system fixed on tripods subtly suggests the body.
The garments have been initially created for a specific site, the old presbytery of Deschambault (Canada), a historical monument. The pieces are made of linen. I chose this material for its properties: I am mainly interested in its purity but also in the particularity to be antiseptic, comfortable, fresh and elegant. The design of the clothes is inspired by the historical past of the building. The “mise en espace” of the pieces and the composition create a new form of living picture that the public can activate or reactivate through its presence trying on the clothes. The picture can be reactivated individually or collectively through the synchronization of the participants. Taken alone, each garment can be perceived as a portrait. The story has no beginning and no end; it depends on the journey of the spectator in the space. The shadow garments become a way to reactivate the inhabitant’s presence in a different space-temporality.
Using storytelling as a starting point, the shadow’s clothes become a site of exploring the materiality and textures of something usually regarded as intangible. I have been inspired by two stories where the main character lost his shadow: Peter Schlemihls by De Chamisso and The Shadow by Anderson. In the first story, the author uses the language to give materiality to the shadow and in the second – to personalize the shadow.
In this video – bradcast ALCHEMY – author speaks from 23 min:16 s