Emmanuelle Rapin FRUSTRATION
22.01.22 - 05.03.22

Emmanuelle Rapin

22.01.22 – 05.03.22

The impossible image and the space of its narrative
What is hidden behind an image? What story is buried in the texture of the painting? These questions can be those of the viewer contemplating the artwork which observes him and which will end up hypnotizing him in a slow movement of vertigo.
This essential experience of being drawn into the space of the image is at the base of my artistic practice. I remove images from their pictorial frame, literally pulling the threads of the canvas to unroll a story. My yarn intertwines personal mythologies, art history, and cultural representations, where the process of creation itself and the conditions of emergence of an image weave the main storyline.
The use of thread and needle is preponderant in my work. The embroideries form unstable textures whose survival depends on the knot. The embroidered images thus carry the possibility of their own disappearance.
Knotting and unknotting, making and unmaking. This repertoire of gestures and techniques can be found in classical representations of women at work: embroidering, sewing, stitching, perforating, cutting, and waiting. In mirroring them, these movements define the positions of my body in the act of creation.
These narratives take the form of installations inhabited by tableaux vivants, photographs, and perforated or embroidered drawings. I create objects, tools, and costumes that are used in the creative process. Words and stylistic elements such as oxymorons, ellipses, and repetitions provide scripts. The characters that run through these scenographies are iconic figures in the history of representations of the Feminine: Bia de Medici painted by Bronzino, Aline, sister and model of the painter Chassériau, joined by the Angel of Dürer’s Melencolia I, and by Augustine, the favourite patient of the neurologist Charcot.
Motifs and materials stem from the tradition of vanitas and still life: thorns, gems and pearls, butterflies, bones, animals and textile patterns are combined with embroidering and sewing.
The images experience repeated variations in form and texture. They pile up, create layers, blur and negate each other. Epiphany.

Emmanuelle Rapin