Art, Inspiration

Emilie Franceschin-isque summer time.

I should had posted this a while ago. To say the least, I attended Emilie Franceschin‘s latest exposition at Les Territoires this June and although there was a minor accident during one of her performances, it was an agreeable event. The artist, Emilie looked just like in her pictures and her aesthetics were pretty good. Performance art is not a subject I know very well. Sometimes I do some solo performances in the privacy of my room, grab some makeup and let it take over me. Just recently one of my roommates saw me on my way to the washroom and asked me if I was trying makeup on for halloween. I smiled and nodded, “Yes!” said I, rushing to the washroom. I might actually write something more in depth about this art form, but for now a brief mention of Emilie Fraceschin’s Secrets does it.

Fraceschin is French, a graduate from the Toulouse School of Fine Arts, and has performed all over Europe. At Les Territoires, the gallery was divided into two rooms. The first one at the entrance welcomed the audience with a short film projected on a circular screen. The content was interesting as it explored the process of conceiving a performance, which demands the artist to be present. In the video she appeared sitting on a dinning table rehearsing an absurd yet existentialist script with another actor who would enter into a similar dynamic, creating a dialogue of intimate preparation in a rather mechanical and mundane setting.

The second room immersed the audience in the privacy of her portraits and sculptures. The sea and navigation are the main things I recall from the experience as there were a conceptual video installation of the sea and a paper boat maquette. Emilie performed in that room. She entered the room barefoot as we, the audience, sat or stood by the walls, creating an agora like set up. Emilie walked to the middle of the room and after building up momentum with her body movement, she proceeded to bury herself in soil and then pour water on herself…or was it the other way? I didn’t take notes, but the accident occurred when someone dropped their drink, breaking the glass too. It was unfortunate, yet extra drama was incrusted to the whole affair.

As a vernissage, though, it was stressful that there was no cheese and the alcohol was not free. Nevertheless, it was an interesting project. Here are some images taken from the artist’s website that prove most of what I’ve tried to explain in this text.

Finally, this is a recording of the performance Around.

Emilie is a remarkable artist, I am happy I had the chance to see her live in the comfort of my current home, Montreal.

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They are in no factual contact. The illusion of their presence, however, is present.

This installation was conceived by Japanese artist Teji Furuhashi. It is supposed to represent the lyricism of the sexual liberty just recently accepted by society. The projections allure the transitory nature of love, and its constant motion. The characters move naked from person to person in a ballet. There appears the individual, alone in its solitary choreography, meeting others on the way who temporarily turn into lovers. Nonetheless, the illusion of the affairs do not last enough. Leaving the character back to the unbearable reality of being alone.

Technically speaking, the narrative is orchestrated with 5 projectors that rotate back and forth onto the black walls of a square room. The images are of nude bodies, both male and female, moving repeatedly in their own, embracing and colliding at some point.

The artist died of HIV in 1995, a year after the production of ‘Lovers’ (1994).

Paradoxically, how true is it to say that sexual freedom is in fact liberating and not otherwise?
Loneliness and confusion are strong characters in Furuhashi’s digital performance. How does that reflect the psyche that accompanies the ‘freedom’ of our time when it comes to sex? To what extent the self has been devaluated by our most animalistic instinct? The other is no longer someone, it has mutated into an object intended to serve as a brief scape from solitude, and as a masturbation tool.

It is sad, to say the least, that Furuhashi died. It could had been interesting to see his evolution in cybernetic arts.