For her exhibition at The Glass House curated by Gaelle Porte, Mathilde Roussel reflects on the way we transform our body to fight its deterioration, and ultimately, death. Prosthesis, graft, implants or even bodybuilding are contemporary practices that aim to redefine the contours and means of our incarnation. Here, the artist explores the cult of the perfect body in American culture, and puts into perspective aspects of consumerism through a large paper pulp crop installation of muscular sedimentation.
Mathilde Roussel’s sculptures and drawings are conceived like living organisms. During her creation process, Roussel progressively gives up control over the materials she uses by letting them find their own form of existence. She selects mediums that are both fragile and resistant: paper pulp, graphite powder, incised rubber or plants. This choice allows her to explore unstable forms and observe their continuous mutation.
Roussel is interested in the intimate link that connects the skeleton to our muscle structure — allowing us to challenge gravity. Standing requires the collaboration of an infinite number of body parts that constantly adjust our balance according to the movement we operate. Through incision, opening, recovering and suspension, the artist forces the forms she produces to find their place in space, thus expressing and revealing the movement they contain in themselves. The sculptures oscillate until they find their pivotal point. To a larger extent, Roussel’s practice seeks to record temporalities that inhabit our corporeality: aging, hardening, scarring and mutation. This research consists in producing forms that emulate life and indicate our vulnerability.
The project was developed over the course of the artist’s residency at Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation where the preparatory studies for the installation (drawings, scale models and collages) are conjunctively exhibited.
September 12—October 17
The Glass House
51 Bergen St