This Is Tomorrow
LA FEMME FONTAINE
at Roman Road
Review by Kaitlyn Kane
Water declares itself the primary medium of Alix Marie’s ‘La Femme Fontaine’ – its presence in the gallery is inescapable. Running through long, clear tubes, it finds its way into every corner of the space. It scales the high walls only to come back to the ground. It trickles audibly into shining silver bowls and the splashing carries and echoes. It spills on to the floor, collecting in shallow puddles. The disorder of it, untidy and uncontained, is strange to see, seemingly at odds with the modern white walls of Roman Road.
It’s only in the context of the rest of the installation that all of this water finds meaning; throughout the gallery, the tubes are threaded through concrete casts of Marie’s body. On one wall, it’s threaded through the artist’s mouth. In the centre of the room, water drips into three bowls, finding its way through a hand, a breast or a thigh, threatening to submerge them all together.
These concrete forms shape and direct the water, but while some are easy to assign, it takes me several minutes to recognise her back, her neck, or her elbow amongst the collection. The casts are spread throughout the gallery, and Marie’s body surrounds you. They’re mounted on the walls, tucked into corners, littered around your feet, and while the water is insistent, the concrete is unyielding.
This is Marie’s first solo exhibition in London, and with this introduction, she is furthering her ongoing exploration of the body, here focusing on the mythical and cultural affiliations between women and water. There are sirens and river nymphs in Greek myth; the goddess Aphrodite was famously born out of sea foam. In Ancient Egypt, the River Nile was represented by a goddess, and in Arthurian legend, the Lady of the Lake plays a central though ambiguous role in the story. Standing in ‘La Femme Fontaine’, you place yourself in their domain. Surrounded as you are by water, they’re in control.
This, though is oversimplified. For while water might be connected to feminine power, Marie is tapping into other cultural associations as well. In the messiness of the installation, through the discomfort that provokes, she is invoking the idea of the abject, exploring and threatening cultural definitions of propriety regarding the female body and bodily functions. There is much about the female body that is contained by society, much that is deemed impure and inappropriate. The title of the exhibition highlights this – ‘la femme fontaine’ is a popular French expression for female ejaculation, an event of sexual expression that remains contentious and is often censored. In the UK, for example, it is banned from being shown in porn.
In this installation, Marie’s hard, concrete casts seem to lavish in wetness; they are one with the fluids that run through them. They refuse to be the soft, pink flesh that society desires. They refuse to be embarrassed or to be separated from the truth of their reality. They stand solid, for themselves, and embrace and demand power.
LA FEMME FONTAINE
05/04 - 20/05 2018
69 Roman Road
E2 0QN London
13 April – 25 May 2018
Private View: 12 April 6-8pm at The Koppel Project Hive
Performances: 12 April & 17 May 2018
Augustine Carr / Otto Ford / Clair Le Couteur / Alix Marie / WARD
Chantal Faust / Gili Lavy / Samantha Lee/ Anna Skladmann / Andrea Zucchini
“I think I scan, I think I scan, I think I scan. And I touch, in order to see. Scanning is a visual movement, a sweeping glance, a skim, an analysis, and a conversion. To scan is to look quickly, and also to look carefully. In the digital realm, scanning demands proximity, it is intimate in this way. The seeing eye of the machine is a reader of surfaces, recording traces of a perceptual and tactile encounter. In the land of the flatbed, touch, vision, and memory become inseparable. In this sense, the seeing organ is more akin to a tongue than an eye, a close-up form of perception and ingestion, licking blindly in the dark.” – Chantal Faust 2018
The Koppel Project is pleased to present Natur Blick, curated by Augustine Carr and Paula Zambrano, which brings together the work of ten contemporary artists who investigate the concept of ‘scanning’. The works included vary from photography to installation, video to performance, and sculpture as well as accompanying texts by Chantal Faust and Daniel C. Blight.
For further information:
The Koppel Project Hive
26 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2AT firstname.lastname@example.org www.thekoppelproject.com
16/02 - 23/03 2018
Ratinger Tor, Düsseldorf
part of the Düsseldorf Photo Weekend 2018
Opening times during Düsseldorf Photo Weekend
Opening 16/02: 6 PM – 9 PM
17/02: 12 PM – 8 PM
18/02: 12 PM – 6 PM
Opening times after Düsseldorf Photo Weekend
Every Saturday: 12 PM – 6 PM
and by appointment (please contact email@example.com)
Bleu, Alix Marie's first book published by Morel Books has joined the TATE MODERN library.
MDAM a joint publication with artist Mia Dudek published by The Plantation Journal has been shortlisted for the Anamorphosis Prize and joined the MOMA library.
Alejandro Cartagena selected Bleu as part of his list of the Best Books of 2017 for photo-eye:
"Bleu has me coming back to it over and over again. It is not about what I can understand of it but what it makes me feel, and that is just a mix of things; fragility, disgust, curiosity, sexiness, strangeness, anxiety and many more things. I think it´s this viscerality and entanglement of sensations that never lets you go. You want to come back to try and find peace. But there is no peace in this book. It feels like we are no more than just pieces of flesh, dehumanized and twisted. A gross book that makes you feel alive."
Gabriela Cendoya selected Bleu as part of her list of the Best Books of 2017 for PhotoBookStore Magazine: "An extraordinary book-sculpture of the body, of the surface of the skin, by the french artist Alix Marie. You can feel the shivering through the pages, touch the bruises, examine the secrets. An amazing work."
Sarah Allen, curator at TATE MODERN, selected Bleu as part of her list of the Best Books of 2017 for LensCulture: "Bleu is an immersive journey into the textures, colours and patterns of skin. This wonderfully tactile photobook absorbs the viewer in an abstract world of flesh. Marie works at the intersection between sculpture and photography and it’s fascinating to see how she has resolved these two interests through the form of the photobook."
Bleu est dans les 10 livres photo de 2017 séléctionnés par Libération
The Body is Victory and Defeat of Dreams
K-Gold Temporary Gallery, Lesvos, Greece
Κ-Gold Temporary Gallery, the contemporary art platform founded by Nicolas Vamvouklis on Lesvos island, presents the art project “The Body is Victory and Defeat of Dreams” (from Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke’s poem), that comprises a group exhibition, performances and an educational program in collaboration with the Municipal Gallery of Mythimna.
Curator Dr. Athena Hadji focuses on the human body as a field of glory and a battlefield, as victory and defeat, as the axis around which the exhibition is structured. Participating artists were selected accordingly, so were their works, some already realized, others as special commissions. “The Body is Victory and Defeat of Dreams” celebrates the human body in all its glory and decay. It employs works in various media, various scales, various material manifestations, in order to highlight the variety of ways in which the human body unfolds. Placed in a historical edifice, that bears traces of successive changes of use through time, the works converse with the architectural shell and the texts that inspired the choice of each work. The visitors are thus called upon adapting their somatic response each time as well as respond in toto to the architectural, artwork, and literary stimulants, coming to face in the end their own physical challenges and their personal boundaries. With the support of NEON.
Participating artists | Arcangelo Sassolino, Aimilia Giannopoulou, Lydia Dambassina, Alix Marie, Andreas Stylianoudakis, Christos Mouchas, HOPE, Anna Maria Samara, HART+LËSHKINA, Lito Kattou, Orestis Lazouras, Gjergj Bodari, Louise Plaze
Photography Museum Amsterdam
FOAM TALENT 2017
Each year, Foam Magazine holds a Talent Call: a search for exceptionally talented photographers between the ages of 18 and 35, from all across the world.
Photographers are invited to submit their portfolios for publication in the magazine's fall Talent issue and the accompanying travelling exhibitions. For selected photographers, the 'Talent stamp' functions as a springboard for the international photo industry, earning them global recognition and praise.
The 11th Talent Call was the largest to date, with an impressive 1790 submissions from 75 different countries. Foam is delighted to announce the names of the 20 selected artists, whose work features in Foam Magazine #48 and the Foam Talent exhibition, on show in Amsterdam from 1 September:
Sushant Chhabria (India), David De Beyter (France), Mark Dorf (USA), Alinka Echeverría (Mexico/UK), Weronika Gęsicka (Poland), Wang Juyan (China), Thomas Kuijpers (The Netherlands), Quentin Lacombe (France), Clément Lambelet (Switzerland), Namsa Leuba (Switzerland/Guinea), Erik Madigan Heck (USA), Alix Marie (France), Martin Errichiello & Filippo Menichetti (Italy), Wang Nan (China), Kai Oh (South Korea), Viacheslav Poliakov (Ukraine), Ben Schonberger (USA), Sadegh Souri (Iran), Harit Srikhao (Thailand) and Vasantha Yogananthan (France).
Mia Dudek + Alix Marie
The Plantation Journal
Roman Road Gallery, London
Saturday 13th Of May
2 - 6pm
MDAM is a collaboration between The Plantation Journal and artists Mia Dudek and Alix Marie made on the occasion of their eponymous exhibition at Roman Road.
This new publication takes a compelling look at the artists' experimental approaches to photography and sculpture. While their current exhibition gathers installations and more sculpture-based works, the MDAM book is a playful puzzle that brings together their photographic practices exploring bodily matters.
The Plantation Journal is an art initiative and project space, run by Trine Stephensen, showcasing explorations within the curatorial and photographic fields in the contemporary arts through exhibitions, workshops, events and publications. It presents a carefully curated selection of photographic works related to sculptural photography. MDAM is exploring the format of an exhibition catalogue, introducing work that is not necessarily seen in the show, but that has been essential for the creation of the exhibition at Roman Road.
Mia Dudek + Alix Marie
Roman Road Gallery, London
27th of april - 26th of may 2017
opening on 26th of april 2017
La Femme Fontaine
Materia Gallery, Rome
Opening on 14th of January 2017
Identify your limitations, acknowledge the periphery.
Caline Auon, Jennifer Douglas, Justin Eagle, Sean Edwards, Ditte Gantriis, Maria de la O Garrido, Lauren Godfrey, Ludovica Gioscia, Felicity Hammond, Holly Hendry, Karin Hueber, Alix Marie, McGilvary/White, Paul Merrick, Lucia Quevedo, Charlie Godet Thomas, Aethan Wills and Madalina Zaharia.
VITRINE gallery, Bermondsey Square, London
June 12 - September 11
Katja Larsson - Jay Price - Josie Cockram - Nikolai Ishchuk - Cally Shadbolt - Joella Wheatley - Kostas Synodis - David Watkins - Alix Marie - Silvia Lerin
Clerkenwell Gallery, 20 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1
June 28 - July 10
Robert Cervera, Katarina Hruskova, Alix Marie
Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London
19th of March - 10th of April 2016
Sunday 10 April 4pm - A---Z video programme featuring Laure Prouvost, Zina Saro-Wiva, Tai Shani and Jordan Wolfson.
Curated by Anne Duffau on the occasion of the exhibition Ichor.
PHOTOWORLD MAGAZINE CHINA
Excerpt from Lucy Soutter's new article Expanded Photography: Persistence of the Photographic for Chinese magazine Photoworld :
"Alix Marie is fascinated by the photographic index—the power of the photograph to provide a direct physical trace of the thing photographed. In Orlando, another sculptural installation, a viewer encounters a huge heap of rock-like lumps, which on close inspection have photographic surfaces that looks fleshy, like some combination of skin, wax, pink marble or meat. Each photographic object is made out of close-up photographic prints of Marie’s boyfriend’s skin, mediated with layers of cracked and melted wax, scanned and reprinted. Marie plays on photography’s ability both to capture surface detail and to provide a precious souvenir of intimate moments. Blown up so much larger than life, Orlando’s skin is kind of creepy, and the piece as a whole has a rather obsessive feeling that reflects our attempt to use photography to hold on on to those we love. Other artists working in a related vein (who, like Marie attended the Royal College of Art) include Darren Harvey-Regen and Jonny Briggs, both of whom play with the notion of photographic trace and the push and pull between reality and representation."
French photographer Alix Marie‘s images will have you looking more than once, her exploration of the mutated body pushing the bounds of the medium and our comfort level. Beginning with nude images of herself and those closest to her, Marie takes her photographs and transforms them into large-scale installations and sculptures. The bloated proportions and crumpled flesh deflect and divert from the photograph’s origin, resulting in behemoth forms of something not altogether human. Targeting our relationship and unease with our bodies as well as implied undercurrents of femininity, the series presents a naked intimacy both stripped to the bone and deeply impassioned. We asked Marie about her process and where these figures come from.
- Excerpt from Feature Shoot article