Cécile Beau & Emma Loriaut
Birth in 1978
Death in 1900
Cécile Beau's work, which can be defined as "poor science fiction", offers real sensory experiences that plunge us into universes that are most often realistic but that include a fictional supplement that gives them all their poetry. Plants or minerals are thus staged in works whose mysterious titles often borrow from foreign languages. As in a waking dream, the roots of the trees hang from the ceiling, neon lights create thunderclaps, and an entire illusionist Méliès-style machinery hides behind works of disturbing beauty. The artist "surveys reality to obtain fragments" (Emile Soulier) in order to create these hybrid and enigmatic works generating ghostly atmospheres.
Cécile Beau is essentially interested in the notion of territory or landscape as a mental appropriation of a place, or as a tool to reach beyond the visible. Landscapes in which all human presence has disappeared - or perhaps never existed - works of austere poetry. Proposing overall or detailed visions, she requires the spectator to devote a minimum of time to her works: indeed, her images are difficult to perceive, and only let themselves be discovered little by little, making it possible to apprehend the components and the subtle variations which unite them. A sound environment can be guessed, gradually transforming the relationship to the work into a total experience. Images at first glance familiar (a forest, the bed of a dried-up river) fall into the unknown, offering a visual and sound hallucination while proposing a piece of wild nature in an urban setting.
"Biale" ("white" in Polish, 2007) at first sight resembles a painting or a drawing. In reality, a set of panoramic photographs of snow-covered landscapes with curved edges, of a dazzling whiteness, leave to appear progressively of their contemplation a very fine horizon line, like a stopped travelling net. As visitors approach, they perceive strange sounds, in the form of winter rustle, windy and distorted. "Vallen" ("to fall" in Dutch, 2009) is an installation that confuses the senses: randomly, the sound of a drop of water falling is accompanied by concentric circles forming on the surface of a puddle of Chinese ink on the ground. Only a careful examination makes it possible to understand that everything is only illusion, that time is suspended and that not a drop of water intervenes in the process. Thus it appears that the artist does not propose pre-established scenarios but on the contrary launches tracks in which the spectator can lose his reference points at leisure.
Daria de Beauvais