Terra Mater invites you to become one with the Earth.
This exhibition takes its name from the Roman mythological goddess Terra Mater. Born from chaos at the beginning of the world, she is the origin of all life on Earth, embodying the ever-fertile, ever-nurturing Mother Nature. A divine symbol, she echoes our fundamental relationship to nature and all that it nourishes.
At its core, this exhibition exists to showcase experimental film. To celebrate an art form centred on experimentation, one that reveals the truth of a moment and revels in the randomness of experience, one that “intervenes randomly on phenomenon, revealing certain truths that one would not otherwise notice.”
These films are poetic, contemplative and committed to challenging us; shaking up how we perceive everyday life, the natural landscapes that surround us, our human condition, our identity, our body, our memories. We face them, we experience them – a contemplative experience, sometimes trying, often disconcerting.
These experimental films – encompassing installations, photographs and performances – shed light on the artistic practice of filmmaking and the medium itself. Presented as a walk through space where artists from different generations and diverse artistic practices converse, this exhibition invites you to partake in this dialogue.
The artists presented in this exhibition make portraits… Contemplative portraits of nature as an event, like in Eugénie Touzé’s “A Storm in a Glass of Water”. Portraits that question the boundaries between the human and the organic as in “Search of Amazons”, by Marcelle Thirache. Portraits of women locked up, victims of an inner struggle between the materiality of the space that imprisons them and their desire for freedom, as portrayed in Marta Skoczeń’s “House Without a Key”. Psychedelic portraits of dancing poppies, there to alter and expand our perception, by Rose Lowder. Sensory portraits, where human bodies and living worlds interact, by Bianca Lee Vasquez. Martine Rousset’s double portrait that plays with the boundaries between the inside and outside, between absence and presence. And Mariana Hahn’s portrait of a city, portrayed as a lacerated body, illustrating the human condition and our destiny within the world.
Marta Skoczeń's works present themselves as true visual stories. Her narratives are filled with a sense of tenderness, taking us into spaces where time seems to be suspended, frozen; captured in a moment of latency, as if between presence and absence. They constitute poetic visual narratives about nature, as well as the exterior world as a space containing both freedom and risk; and the interior, the home, as a place of protection and shelter. Both simultaneously present themselves as having the ability to be dangerous and healing at the same time.
I wanted to show this need for a movement which pushes us out of the reassuring interiors through contact with nature. It makes me think of the paintings of 19th-century female artists where female subjects are represented in enclosed spaces, in all types of activities, such as sewing. These spaces were usually assigned to women during this period. It is this image of the woman locked inside whom I wish to symbolically liberate.
Instinctively, Marta Skoczeń chooses women as her favorite subject. In the culture and history of her native country, Poland, the notion of femininity can be synonymous with power but also with suffering. The artist's photographs and videos represent women, who seem to be immersed in the world of their own, as if disenchanted, keeping a frontal yet fleeting gaze. At once psychological and transgressive, these portraits of women, isolated indoors, evoke a sense of physical and emotional power, whilst questioning the position of women in today’s society.
On the other hand, the exterior — the nature — makes us think of curative and liberating spaces, allowing a certain void in us to be filled. The artist builds spaces of contemplation allowing the spectator to see a missing piece of their past. This can be found in her video works, which, through the continuity of the projected shots, refer to human memory, which can sometimes lose its linearity. The choice of places filmed by the artist is also marked by her own experiences, her own story. It is a way for her to transcribe her own memories modified by her amnesia, through her memory, which is associative. Photographing and filming the exteriors is “an act based on the body’s ability to express the unspeakable that has been forgotten or repressed”.
Marta Skoczeń's photographs and films have been made between France and Poland. In particular, her work echoes the region where her mother’s side of the family comes from, where she spent most of her holidays. It’s a small town in southern Poland, very quiet, peaceful, surrounded by the countryside, full of fields and gardens. It is mysterious, filled with dark and secret stories, which are often left untold. This environment — marked by the weight of the past and by omnipresent, even dazzling nature — acts as Marta Skoczeń's main artistic force. First expressed through drawing, then through photography and cinema. Drawing plays an important role here especially, as she always makes sketches for all her works.
Correction of english version by Wojtek Szczerbetka
Galerie 7 rue de Paradis, Paris 10
June 1-12, 2022
CURATOR: MARILOU THIRACHE
EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Marcelle Thirache, Martine Rousset, Rose Lowder, Mariana Hahn, Marta Skoczeń, Bianca Lee Vasquez, Eugénie Touzé
opening and exhibition views © Nicolas Fellingham Geyer