Impuzzibil by An Paenhuysen
The body has been a long fascination of artist Charlotte Dualé. In her sculptural work it
appears undefinable, as parts of a body, maybe arms or legs, let’s say they are limbs
and they seem tired limbs folded onto one another, fleshy and exhausted, but also with a faint hint of resistance to them, a slim chance of a positive turn, a resurrection
beyond the grave. Because Dualés ceramic sculptures are flawed like human bodies.
They have scars, they bleed, they have blotches. They cavil, quarrel, shudder, grumble.
Disillusioned, sick, crushed, sore. Dualé shows them on the tiles of what could be
bathrooms or on the hooks of the dressing room in the gym. They also surrender as
damp cloths on shelves.
In her new show at Parliament in Paris, the sculptures regained colour (like red and
blue) and their spirit is more upbeat. They find themselves in boxes, equally colourful,
and there is an element of play. “Impuzzibil”, the title of the exhibition, adds to the fun.
So what is impossible? Thinking the infinite is impossible. Disappearing in the universe isso too. You have to die to do so, to pass away. Except when it’s magic. Magic is havinga come-back over the past couple of years, also in the arts. Shamanism, sorcery,witches. A recent book on the topic by the Oxford professor of archaeology Chris Gosden calls magic the "oldest and most neglected strand of human behaviour”.
Magicians make things disappear. Like rabbits out of a hat, a bouquet of flowers (also
out of a hat), and anything bigger needs a box to hide. Like women. It was while
watching a magician at work on television that Charlotte Dualé noticed its fascinating
gendering. The male magicians put their female assistants in a box. There they get still
and are made to disappear. A violent act dressed up as entertainment so you don’t
even register it. But the artist noticed and decided to do some research behind the
scenes. How does it work to be sawn in half, disembodied, decapitated, vanished? Or
how to fold a body into the smallest space conceivable?
It is said that women are more body than men. Bodies that bring about excess, sexual
desire, loss of control. Bodies that are wanted. Non-solid, roundish bodies. Juicy, ripe
fruit, wet laundry. In Charlotte Dualé’s work they protrude out of the holes in the magic
boxes. When I met the artist in her Berlin studio, about a month before the opening of
her Paris exhibition, the oven has just been turned on to burn the ceramics. Dualé was
trying out the boxes with peep holes in them, stuffed here and there with fabrics or
wrapped in latex. Vanishing acts often involve hiding in the folds of textiles or warping
the body in the strangest positions.
There is a long history of making women disappear, of making them superfluous. Simply putting them in the domestic space can do the trick. If you think of it, Valerie Solanas’ S.C.U.M., short for “Society for Cutting Up Men”, of 1967 was a humorous antidote. The satire was set to make men disappear as their lack of empathy prevented a human society. Solanas liked to turn things upside down. There was no such thing as the Freudian “Penis-Neid”, she argued, but instead men were missing a leg, being XY yearning to be XX. The male spends his life attempting to become female, and thereby overcome his inferiority.
In Impuzzibil, there are these bodies struggling and folding and stretching in stacked
boxes. They didn’t disappear but they’re not fully there either. And there is no magician present to help out. But Charlotte Dualé’s work is always inspired by the potential of a body. Our vessels might be cracked and leaky, subjugated to the wishes of others. And we might tell ourselves not to reach out for the impossible anymore, but then, again and again, we do.
The exibition is on view at Parliament in Paris from 25 MARS - 14 MAI 2022
For FIAC 2021, Galerie Noah Klink is pleased to present Intrusive Thoughts, a new series of works by Charlotte Dualé.
In her work, Dualé channels the spiritual, ephemeral, and sensual qualities of structures originally set up to perform certain functions. Her mostly wall-based ceramics mimic elementary structures such as language, words, interior objects, or technical tools. Whilst adapting formal aspects and ordering principles of such structures, the objects eventually evade the servility coming with their mundane existence.
Resembling regular wall-based shelves, Dualé’s latest works carry miraculous displacements in the form of deformed surfaces, unserviceable shapes, and cracking forms. Traces of human interactions with the objects, e.g. a handprint engraved in one of the surfaces, further add to the notion of a world in which the fantastic has been introduced to the trivial domestic.
Dualé fuels this vision by letting the objects become subjects themselves, retaliating from being attached to the wall and serving the sole purpose of carrying everyday objects. Thus becoming a surface for projections, the works carry traumas, nightmares, and dreams and form a medium to unload memory.
By arranging the objects in varying proximity to each other across the walls of the fair booth, Dualé evokes social structures, narratives and interactions among the single works and the groups they form, all which echo each other.
Charlotte Dualé (b. 1982 in Paris, France) lives and works in Monoblet and Berlin. She received an MA in Visual Communications from ESAG Penninghen, Paris in 2006 and a MFA from Kunsthochschule Weissensee, Berlin, in 2013. Recent solo and group presentations include Entre aide, Institut Français (Berlin, DE, 2021), TXT, Galerie Noah Klink (Berlin, DE, 2019), Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Stipendium. Die Ausstellung 2019, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (Dusseldorf, DE, 2019), and Die Putze, EIGEN + ART Lab (Berlin, DE, 2017).
Power Play by Mitch Speed
Some questions seem designed to hide cruelty. Like: ‘what is it for?’ This is the mantra, formulated as a question, of a religion of use value.
We made our idea of art — the dream of experience emancipated from function — as a response to this problem, as a way to escape the enclosure of life by the demand for functional returns. But in doing so, we also made new questions, with new double binds.
I see a whole bunch of ceramic objects, curiously shaped and coloured, and all small enough to hold in one or two hands. Often these objects combine a couple of flat planes, which are imperfectly architectonic and glazed in subdued colours — midnight blue, moss green, wet-concrete gray — with forms that recall shed skin, soggy leaves, worms, twigs, and shit. The latter are coloured more brightly, in glazes that are thick and thin, sometimes flat, sometimes bubbling and dripping. Many of the pieces have small holes. Put a nail or screw through them, and you’d be one step away from utility. Object becomes sculpture becomes shelf, becomes a part of the home, which means (especially in the dreamworld invoked by these strange objects…) part of you.
Let’s go out on an old limb, and say that all aesthetic energy is not only retinal and haptic but also social and psychological.
I love looking at Charlotte’s work because I love looking at Charlotte’s work. The pleasure doesn’t need a reason. But part of the pleasure lies in allowing the brain — with its own delight in semiotics, social tensions, and contexts — its place in the encounter. To a certain extent, thinking enriches sensuality. Only paranoid aesthete reactionaries think otherwise. Our job is to tend to that ‘certain extent’ — to counter the hegemony of absolutes, with complexity.
The riddle of what place these objects hold on a spectrum that runs from use, on the one hand, to the pipe dream of unimpeded sensuality, on the other, shapes the work’s vibe.
So if I say: “These objects aren’t supposed to be used! Stop instrumentalizing experience!”, I’ll have a certain righteousness on my side. On the other hand, this righteousness would be compromised, it being the case that this position would itself align with the historical usage of pure aesthetic experience — high abstraction — as a marker of bourgeois superiority. Power lurks everywhere, even in enchantingly quirky artistic experiences. Power is poison. But it also produces form.
Charlotte’s objects hold these aesthetic-social conflicts in tension, so that they can be felt as much as thought. Their playfulness, their brilliant colours, their associations, are participants in this broader effect. When the messier and more organic forms seem to meld with or melt out of their quasi-architectonic supports, they invoke unseen life suddenly appearing in the inanimate architectural surround. That’s the stuff of dreams or nightmares. And also sometimes of the uncanny aspects of waking life. Like rain-mashed leaves spooning with forms in the pavement, or like the uncanniness of symmetry itself, in the form of two objects, interlocking along their mutually jagged edges.
Entre aide, Installation view, 24 m x 0,80 m, glazed ceramics and porcelain, 2021
24 Juillet – 10 Octobre 2021
Les Vitrines, Institut français Berlin, curated by Liberty Adrien
La sculptrice française Charlotte Dualé aborde dans son travail les notions de domesticité, de fonctionnalité, de forme, d'ornement et d'utilité. Ses sculptures en céramique et en porcelaine sont de fascinants ensembles d'idées, autant d'éléments qui se mêlent au récit de notre monde quotidien. Une forme peut ainsi représenter une lettre et sa combinaison constituer un mot, une représentation métaphorique d'un corps ou un objet à usage domestique.
Pour son exposition Entre aide, c’est l'importante notion de soucis des autres que Charlotte Doualé explore. En équilibre, se soutenant et se portant mutuellement, ses artefacts façonnés et déformés interagissent dans l'espace. Créée spécifiquement pour les besoins de ces assemblages, chaque forme et contre-forme porte une individualité qui n'est pas sans rappeler celle de chaque acteur de nos sociétés. Telle une encyclopédie des possibles et des relations, ses objets aux contours organiques et aux combinaisons intuitives fonctionnent comme des formes d’expression. L'espace sensible créé par son langage qui dépasse les frontières du figuratif et de l'abstrait, devient un véritable microcosme de formes et de couleurs, reflet de traits de caractère et d'attitudes qui se déploient comme des fragments d'écrits.
par Liberty Adrien
It matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what concepts we think to think other concepts with. Donna Haraway
In this work - TXT - it is not about what "message" is conveyed, but how one conveys a “message," what lies behind language itself as a medium.
I am developing my own language here, creating my own tool for thinking (underlined by the fact that I have made this "alphabet" in ceramics, I leave traces of my own hands, my own body) because the existing language is already occupied.
La langue, cet immense préfabriqué qu’on se passe de génération en génération. Henri Michaux - and facets of experience are restricted.
The construction of freedom arises through alienation - alienation as a strategy to create new worlds.
The point is to think beyond the existing standards of language.
The form of the text is itself a composition of 250 lines of ceramic - sometimes single, sometimes several - that come together or interact with each other.
Like choreographed dancers. The structure of the text itself is transformed through the act of "writing" on the wall and in the end becomes freer, more open.
A language where there is room for interruption or stuttering, where pause, interruption, dizziness, echo or repetition have a place.
Fotos Katja Illner
Does this text wish to communicate something that language cannot?
How does the unspeakable express itself?
Why does one make things without purpose?
Does everything have to be useful?
Can we be human without language?
How does one express oneself when one is not a subject?
How do we address the unknown?
Does something else appear when language disappears?
Is it a language, is it a drawing?
How can we write what we cannot express?
Does everything need to be understandable?
When language frees itself from its content, what’s left over?
A sound, fun.
What if the object itself can feel desire?
Is it perhaps an erotic text?
In this installation, different stages of a process become visible:
- Production remains lie on the floor
- Ceramic moulds are placed in a bracket that holds them until they can be used
- Foundation stone, the source of an architecture
Up until 2017, I mainly worked on a series of ceramic objects that are reminiscent of body parts. Metaphors for human poses, heavily loaded by gravity, standing (/lying/ leaning/collapsing together etc.) the objects in space in different contexts.
Tabula Rasa (Die Putze), 2017, Artist + Art Lab
Here, in this exhibition - in which I conclude this series - I have arranged piles of ceramics on the floor as if they had been swept away. The sculptures are glazed with a wiping technique which, when fired, gives the impression that the sculptures surfaces have been cleaned. Cleaning, reducing, developing by subtraction, to create in order to give emptiness its own space, espacifier, tabula rasa, robbing, coring, to add and to remove until the act of removal becomes visible.
Foto Mick Vincenz, Otto Felber
In this installation, amorphous forms lie about, positioned in front of a graffiti-covered tiled wall, like people waiting for the subway or chilling at the edge of the public pool. The graffiti was applied to the tiles as a layer of glaze and then fired. The ephemeral nature of urban graffiti was preserved by the firing process.
The words, “Power Stability Coordination,” are reminiscent of a self-invocation used to avoid insecurity or to convince oneself. They could also be the words of a coach before a boxing match, being about performance and fighting, but also exhaustion and failure.
Le Tableau de Chasse (in English “Tally”) describes the arrangement of all the animals shot after a hunt. In this installation, ceramic and porcelain sculptures lie on a table resembling an assembly line, in an exhausted, almost already used, discarded state.
In the changing room of a former swimming pool, I staged a dressing room, a space between things, in which one leaves things behind. Clothes, body parts, and prostheses are brought together there for a moment.