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Jeu de Paume Organizes Jessica Warboys Exhibition "À l'étage" at Maison d'Art Bernard Anthonioz
Jessica Warboys, Ouroboros O Glorious, 2010. Cyanotype sur toile, 400 x 330 cm. Courtesy Gaudel de Stampa, Paris © Jessica Warboys.

PARIS.- Mountain, sun, galaxy, people from the past, poetry; are all collaborators. Shadows and curtains are characters. Heart has language; rhythm moves ink. Something is certain; something is deeply precarious. Imagine this coming together to form a story, and you will enter the practice of Jessica Warboys.

Capturing the movements of elemental cycles, painting and performance are intertwined with an aspect of the “artiste en plein air”. For example, in realising her large format canvases, Jessica has been collaborating with both the sea and the sun. In her sea paintings: through immersing canvas into the sea, waves and wind move through pigment applied by hand leaving the trace of their movement. In parallel, to the sea paintings are cyanotypes/photograms: in which the negative image is the shadow left by various forms, momentarily placed onto photo-sensitive canvases exposed to the sun.

The presenting of images on the cusp of the concrete and the ephemeral result in her canvases, films and object constellations being inhabited by both intricate patterns and simple forms. As in time, the passage required for one thing to transform to another is amplified. In movies as in magic we see it in one jump cut, in Jessica Warboys films we are allowed to follow the process of transformation. In doing so, the greater transformation takes place in our own perception and expectation.

A series of recent visits to the Smith-Lesouef Library of Nogent has established a trajectory of self-transforming discoveries, which have begun to form the foundations for her project.

Founded by the sisters, Jeanne Smith and Madeleine Smith-Champion, Nogent library contains their artworks as well as those of the elderly artists from the adjoining retirement home Maison des Artistes. The library, complete with stage, and back drop: Madeleine Smith-Champions looming classical nudes, plays host to books upon books, faded papers and photographs. In particular photographs unearthed from the Studio Helen Vanel capturing the ambience of Surrealist Soirées: Aspects inédits de la poésie et de la dance.

Surrounded by garden and forest which may have already become part of her story, this library and its grounds serves as both frame/set and reference for the exhibition and narrative film of the same name: À l’étage.

Jessica Warboys (English, b. 1977, lives in London and Paris)

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April 24, 2011

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