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Actes Sud : Laurence Aëgerter : Ici mieux qu’en face


Laurence Aëgerter’s Art of Escape by Fannie Escoulen

Ever since she started making art, some fifteen years ago, Laurence Aëgerter has found her inspiration, her material for thinking about and making her work, in the reality she lives with. This multitalented artist absorbs what is around her and is constantly calling into question the preestablished rules of our lives. She loves to overturn situations and challenge gazes and, as if in a mirror or trompe-l’oeil, reveal another realm of possibilities, alternatives to a reality that has become unacceptable, or too set in its ways.

From childhood, Aëgerter has had a passion for paintings and antiques, encyclopedias and manuals, museum catalogues and vernacular images. As fascinated by the most modest everyday objects as she is by the great masterpieces of art history, she has an inexhaustible ability to marvel at the beauty of the world and the endless perceptions beneath its surface.

The set-ups that she devises move between illusion and reality and partake of that same desire for escape. It is by revealing the unseen side of the real through her acts of appropriation that she constructs her stories. Her scenarios bring about collisions and shifts. Chance and the imaginary are guests at her creative table. Other, stricter protocols also effect displacements and transpositions within her work.

Superimposition, juxtaposition, appearance, and disappearance, as well as duplication, are all strategies that enable her to create fresh forms and new historical, sociological, and artistic movements.

The visual, semantic, and poetic correspondences that she activates using the icons of our collective unconscious bring the images that haunt her into cohabitation, thus giving them fresh lives. Dictionaries, history books, archival images, and those garnered from the internet, art objects and other everyday supports that she joyfully transforms become the ferment of a corpus that she builds tirelessly, stone by stone. The appropriation of this multifarious material acts on her imagination and opens the way to a host of experiences.

Photographs, artist’s books, site-specific installations, tapestries, and collaborative projects reflect the profuseness of her practice, one constantly enriched by this imperious need that drives her to draw nourishment from the world.

The cycle of time is essential in her work. This time that she raises up and rebuilds, telling its moments like beads on a rosary, adding in new layers. She summons our memories and reminiscences of a past to which she is deeply attached, the better to repair, embellish, or transfigure it. In this sense, she concurs with philosopher Clément Rosset’s words in The Real and Its Double: “The present would be too disquieting if it were merely immediate and primary. It is approachable only by way of re-presentation . . . [that] permits its assimilation only in the form of a double that is more digestible than the original in its primary rawness.”1 In her works, time is often perceived through a living experience of light and matter, in which the fugacity of the present moment meets the serenity of the timeless.

Fannie Escoulen


Laurence Aëgerter : Ici mieux qu’en face





Published by Actes Sud

22.00 x 30.00 cm

244 pages

ISBN : 978-2-330-14066-3

Prix indicatif : 42.00€


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