MEZZO FORTEApril 03 - May 22, 2021
MEZZO FORTEApril 03 - May 22, 2021
This is an exhibition in crescendo, that sings to the point of letting out a cry.
Immersed in the immense work of Tania Mouraud, Mezzo Forte brings together various highlights of the artist’s research. Historical works (Where is the unknown, People call me Tania Mouraud, the Black Continent and Words series) side by side with others produced over the last fifteen years (including Ad Infinitum, the Mots-Mêlés, Shmues, Balafres, Nostalgia and Saudade series).
Words are spread out. Since the 1960s, they have been questioning the plasticity of language and the relationship between perception and reading. They introduce the profoundly ethical questioning of the artist’s notions of point of view and representation. Tania Mouraud makes poems, haïkus, quotations, operas, lieder and songs her own, which are at the source of these drawn and painted lines. They are written in Yiddish, Hindi, Chinese, English and German. Their typefaces, cursive or printed, are deformed, reformed, re-shaped on the margins of traditional pictorial canons.
Counterforms appear in the Black Continent and Words series, overturning our habits of perception. The words of Gandhi, further on, break apart in the mirror of WDYCYE? (“Why do you close your eyes?”). The sentences stretch to the scale of architecture with the Wallpaintings, to the borders of space and legibility, requiring everyone to stop in order to decipher them. With the Mots-Mêlés, they become labyrinths built with a computer program, transformed into code as an international language. The bas-reliefs of the Shmues series (“conversations” in Yiddish), fragments of a murdered language, stand out from the surface of the walls and appear as reminiscences. Times, alphabets, idioms, signs and voices intersect and mingle.
Then, the photographs display with melancholy the state of a world ruined by time or by humanity. There, the living is devastated and decomposes, metamorphoses, emerges, and the medias interweave. A landscape lacerated by mining companies, like flesh covered with scars, reveals coloured strata similar to layers of paint (Balafres). Faded sunflowers stand out against the light in a cloudy sky like the silhouettes of a shadow theatre (Saudade). The analog photographs of a nature altered by human intervention, shot in the 1970s and digitally reworked in 2020, show the grain invading the image, evoking the aesthetics of Old Master engravings. The scattered and anonymous steles of a Romanian Jewish cemetery seem to quiver in the movement induced by the videogram (IASI). Through a thick blanket of snow in Russia, a few grass stems emerge, tracing signs in an immaculate landscape like subtle pencil strokes on a sheet of paper (Emergence), while tyres corrupt and embrace the relief, scattered like notes on the staff of a score (Invaders). Snowy views inspired by Eisenstein’s film, Alexander Nevsky, composed with horizons, evoke abstract minimalist paintings.
These sublime scenes offer a moment of pause and contemplation. Faced with them, the human mind is dispossessed of its hold on an environment it believes it dominates. Refering to a term that in music indicates measures that could be repeated endlessly, Ad Infinitum evokes a time that is meditative and asserts a serene, unfailing optimism. Against the fear of an uncertain future, Tania Mouraud proposes the beauty of a resilient world. Her works are wide-open eyes, filled with wonder and lucidity. They invite us to see further away, differently, to revolt, to resist the forces that destroy and spread death. Life always here finds a way, which the artist offers to see.
Cécile Renoult, 2021
Artist : Tania Mouraud
Ceysson & Bénétière