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Ariane Michel presents "The Rhetoric of Tides" at La Criée
Ariane Michel, La Rhétorique des marées, video capture, 2015 (work filmed: Abraham Poincheval, La Vigie) © all rights reserved.

PARIS.- In her project La Rhétorique des marées (The Rhetoric of Tides), Ariane Michel takes an organic, evolving cinematic approach to investigating the role of the artist in the light of Nature’s differing scales and movements.

Last summer Michel curated a venture on the wild coast of Esquibien, in Finistère, Brittany: an invitation to 21 artists to create works on the shoreline, at the frontier between ocean and land.* Exposed to the elements, this exhibition provided her raw material: on the fringe of this public event she brought something like a scientist’s eye to filming the artists as they moved about the landscape, from their arrival on the beach to the completion of their pieces. She then continued her visual recording of the exhibition’s ongoing transformations.

Her video installation at La Criée is a concentrate of the event and its multiple time frames. Those of the artists: their bodies, actions and respiration. Those of the works: fleeting performances, fragile creations soon swept away, and more enduring constructions. But also the time frames of everything making up the setting in space‑time contexts other than our own: granite, crabs, lichen, the swell of the sea, and so on – a host of custodians imbuing the place with their varied scales. As is her wont, Ariane Michel made her film by adopting their point of view. From the level of a limpet or a winkle, during the lifespan of a broom leaf, obeying the edginess of egrets or the indifference of stone, she has chosen here to reveal and intensify the vertigo triggered by bringing all these states of being together with what the artists are doing. Thus she takes the viewer on an intuitive sensory journey whose shifting points of view can lead him or her to a change of paradigm, and even of skin.

Artist and filmmaker Ariane Michel was born in Paris in 1973. She now lives between Paris and Esquibien, in Finistère, Brittany.

Since her graduation from the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris and a spell at Le Pavillon – the research unit at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris – Ariane Michel has been working on projects in which cinematic narrative techniques play a large part: videos, installations, films and performances. They include The Screening, an audience‑involvement nocturnal projection in a woodland clearing; Les Hommes, her feature‑length film released in France in 2008; and the cinemascope‑format fish tank of Les Lutétiens, an encounter between living beings and a fossilised setting. All these works use immersion, projection and editing techniques to offer the viewer a singular space‑time experience.

Her works have been acquired by the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Centre Pompidou and the National Contemporary Art Collection, and been exhibited at the Nuits Blanches in Paris (2009, 2010), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard in Paris (solo show 2010), the Atelier at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Minsheng Museum in Shanghai, Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York and the Aichi Triennial in Japan. They have also been screened at FID, the international film festival in Marseille (Grand Prix 2006) and at the festivals in Locarno, Rotterdam, Vancouver and Lisbon.

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