Aurélie PétrelCycle 2, figures photographiques
September 09 - October 14, 2017
At the research centre, time seems to expand, punctuated only by the rustling of tracing paper and the sound of footsteps, noises muted by the deep purple carpet.
White-gloved hands open archival boxes and peel away the acid-free papers that protect the original drawings, prints and handwritten notes. The movements are slow, expansive, repetitive, meticulous, but revelatory. The exhibition succeeds in creating a certain stability (albeit momentarily, as is always the case with Aurélie Pétrel). The structures designed by American architect Peter Eisenman inspire Pétrel to draw figures. From the inherent logic of his forms, she extracts a material that merges with the texture of whispered sentences. It is not space—which in Eisenman’s work relates to a conceptual operation—sought for by the artist in the architect’s sketches and axonometric views, but the line. At times clinical, at times hesitant, this line is superimposed onto the lines of other drawings from a single folder, thereby adding a sense of volume and dimension. The artist attempts to reveal transparency as an organizational—and non-material—property. The concentration of curved bodies on the display table; the visitor’s eyes creased in concentration as he attempts to make sense of the work beyond the lines or traces so as to mentally reconstitute the necessary transformations of the matter: subdivision, shifts, superimpositions, partitioning ... the many operations employed by the artist for the fleeting moment that is the exhibition.