2 éclat blancs toutes les 10 secondes describes the signal given by a lighthouse on Ouessant Island where Ann Veronica Janssens and Aurélie Godard could be found before the exhibition. The coded language of the lighthouse signals, just like those of marine pavilions, provide a repertoire of forms and colours for the models and paintings of Aurélie Godard. This evocation of the syncopated rhythm of a lighthouse also references the light installations of Ann Veronica Janssens: coloured mists and projections which reveal the conditions of a genuine experience of the senses. The two artists stayed on Ouessant, where Aurélie Godard has her roots. For this artist, the island constitutes a fertile resource not as a mimetic model but as a field of experimentation. If the island can be explored physically and envisaged globally (its characteristic outline like a crab’s claw), its physical boundaries are, by definition, always unstable, subjected to the movements of the tides. Captivated by questions of space and scale, Aurélie Godard tries to confront different paradigms, by getting closely interested in topology, astronomy and physics. Coriolis is a ball cast in aluminium: the title making reference to the eponymous force which is often illustrated by a cannonball for which the trajectory is altered by the force of inertia. To escape this law, the artist chose an extremely dense material which modifies the centre of gravity of an object while its accidental surface imposes random movements upon it. Trained at the Villa Arson in Nice, then at the Ecole Nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris, Aurélie Godard primarily concentrates on sculpture and installation while also developing a reflexion concerning painting. From a trip to the United States, she brought back a collection of photographs of cars which she disperses randomly on the mats of frames. These are covered in coloured checkers which decompose, like pixels, the chassis colours of the cars. The clumsy application of paint disturbs the straightness of the grid and contrasts with the precision of the photographic image, less to deconstruct the image and its format than as a reflection on the possibilities of painting outside of its historic and technological context. Also questioning the link between the subjectivity of the artist and the work, she inventories the paint stains in the workshops of painters, preserving only the contours. These involuntary traces, relevant at once to chance and to particular gestures, are classed according to their density, and aligned to cover a wall. A low degree of design can be read as an alphabet of signs, a language in search of a meaning. Often, the choice of titles functions as a complement to the object. Their degree of precision reinforces the paradoxes, as in the series of works entitled Formes vagues, which plays with the ambiguity of terms (vague, in French meaning both “vague” and “wave”). This wave motif, painted or drawn on different surfaces (carrying case, cigar box, wall surface) always appears in a circle which isolates it from the background. The contrasts, subtly applied, make the image oscillate between abstraction and figuration. At Le Quartier, it adorns a carrying case which hangs over a model inspired by a sketch from the architect Carlo Mollino. The transformation of the case into a plinth recalls the movement of the work and the transitory nature of its exhibition, as well as the displacement of the spectator around the piece and, more broadly, the migration of forms and ideas. Two other sculptures were conceived according to the same principle, reflecting their inscription in a web of relations and influences. One, Confusion de Rennes à Tokyo en passant par Milan, mais dans un livre pour la dernière (un crochet par Ronchamp), synthesises different existing constructions with the revival, on the plinth, of a motif inspired by Le Corbusier. The other, Painting it Oscar (pour AVJ), is an adaptation of a building constructed by Oscar Niemeyer: the plinth is re-housed in an unfinished coloured checkerboard, in reality a close-up of a detail of the face of the architect as filmed by Ann Veronica Janssens in 2009. Aurélie Godard’s sculptures often have a DIY air, which gives them a potential for transformation and narration. Her spherical armchair, La chaise de Lucrèce, made from driftwood (notably a former English lifeboat wrecked off of Ouessant in 1964) is inhabited by silent histories which drive the imagination to join up with the sensations, the perspective playing with the idea of sitting itself. The works are often the media for mental projections which can reveal invisible movements: a sculpture in the form of a torus, tossed like a buoy in the sea, leads a journey back through time to Renaissance painting, the shadows detached from their objects also bear the traces of former work and bring to light what is outside the work of the artist.
Exhibition with Ann Veronica Janssens and Aurélie Godard
(Extract from Journal N.78, published for the exhibition at Le Quartier)