Sculpting the invisible, printing the sculpture
Survival and conservation of matter: the sculpture as a phenomenon of resistance and precarity resurgence


Chia seeds, seaweed, annatto chili, arbol chili, poblano chili, puya chili, cumin, lemongrass, dried limes, shrimp powder, dried shrimps, black sea salt, edible gelatine, food coloring, rice paper, bean curd sheets, rust, synthetic polyester plaster, hydrocal, epoxy, clay, epoxy clay, copper, iron, plexiglas, pvc, wood, paper, inks, pigments, etc.

How to document and materialize the invisible? In questioning the concept of the archive by experimenting and manipulating always vibrant matter – between presence and absence – my work is in a continuous mise-en-abîme and attempts to redefine the status of image in sculpture.
I am defending a frontal relationship with matter. I utilize geology as a metaphor and as a distance in order to reveal layers of histories, memories and realities at the surface of materials.

In this process, the assemblage of elements is operated by juxtaposition and compilation. The principle of copy-paste – computer manipulations for reproduction or data moving – allows me to index every gesture. I capture and I scan my sculptures in the context of the studio or the exhibition and constitute an archive of my process.
The photographs are cropped, cut out, reconstructed with other images of my field-work. The archive is then reinjected into new materials. The prints emerge as pure forms or as documents of a past experience. This research is in a constant state of flux where framing and focusing respond to my context and environment.

My work attempts to bring out the notion of phenomenon within the current field of sculpture. I am particularly attentive to the process of decomposition such as erosion or digestion.
In her agential realism theory (new onto-epistemological interpretation of quantum physics), Karen Barad* argues: « Matter is substance in its intra-active becoming – not a thing, but a doing, a congealing of agency. Matter is stabilizing and destabilizing process of iterative intra-activity. Phenomena – the smallest material units (relational « atoms ») – come to matter through this process of ongoing intra-activity. » Matter emerges, lives and dies. Dynamic and unstable, matter also reflects the precarity of our world.
In my recent sculptures, I am experimenting new ways of hybridization by using natural and artificial elements and by intertwining them in their internal strata, between the pieces themselves and in relation to the space that surround them. The notions of interference and parasite translate another way to shape the space. Spices rot, seeds germinate, salt crystallizes and comes off, materials erode and change color until they disappear and modify the structure.

Image and volume are considered in an identical process. They start as positive and they end as negative. Historically this process refers to death representation – the death mask – imagines – and the commemorative photo – resemblances – invoke both the lost physical presence in order to preserve a memory. The photograph, as well as the mask, converts the volume to a two-dimensional and flat space suspended in an in-between giving birth to picture. For Georges Didi-Huberman**, wax (material constituting the mask), a substance in the midst of two states oscillating between plasticity and viscosity, freezes the instability by a permanent back and forth between resemblance and inform.

My sculptures are snapshots. I don’t produce objects but rather a process. Compressions of actions, accumulations, and sedimentations: we can observe past, present and future at the same time.
Volumes are flat – screens, surfaces or walls – they always re-circumscribed a space. Each element has its own importance and participates in the construction of a whole. The components and their states parasite themselves and feed one another.
My pieces are dependent on the space, they come to life within it and in relation to each other. The context is what articulates and animates matter. Hanging in space or more precisely hanging in crisis is the point of departure of each sculpture that I consider holographic. Experience, gesture, space are at the core of matter. The body has to measure every interval of these agencies: sculpting the space and grasping it as an act of memory.
I am seeking to excavate the reality of materials by creating the archeology of my own work. The importance of matter, even digitalized, is to memorialize every story, every trace of its living. Ephemeral, it dissolves and is reborn under a new shape – an anthropophagous sculpture that feeds and rebuilds continuously from destruction or dislocation and questions forms of transitions, temporary and transformation states. The erasure principle as Norman Klein*** formulates, reveals us how memory attempts to erect in the space and the landscape as a form of resistance – space as matter and anthropological object between reality and fiction.

Sculpture as a commitment and therefore a resistance facing a digitalized age after the atomization of matter interrogates nonetheless the conditions to produce a stable and finished form in the era of quantum physics and how to extend materiality beyond media. My sculpture struggles and survives itself while producing a strategy of continuity. At a time where crisis constitutes a unique format in which one tries to elaborate new methods of survival such as the recycling of materials and thinking, how to contemplate the future of matter? Choosing the ephemeral, my installations persist in various areas with diverse forms and affirm their interbreeding in the unpredictable.****

* Karen Barad, Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter, Signs, vol. 28, n°3, 2003
** Georges Didi-Huberman, La matière inquiète (Plasticité, viscosité, étrangeté), Lignes 2000/1, n°1
*** Norman Klein, The history of forgetting: Los Angeles and the principle or erasure, Verso, 1997
**** Édouard Glissant, Les Vendredis de la philosophie, France Culture, 10 avril 2009


Brussels, February 2016