Artist and architect, Nefeli Papadimouli questions space, a crucial dimension of her artistic practice, in relation to the body. More precisely, it is the spacing between things and beings that the artist works on: this "negative space redefined as a relational object, the space that separates us as a space that connects us". The exhibition Milieu Mouvant, which presents original works by Nefeli Papadimouli, reflects on our shared urban and public spaces, and the way in which we regulate the distances between individuals.
« In between spaces »Six fans are displayed in the Pal Project gallery, treated in a sculptural manner: human-sized, they are made of paper, fabric, wood and metal. Six costumes, shaped from a monochrome fabric evoking the colours of the city, are associated with each of the fans: a possible ephemeral community takes shape behind the sculptures. Some photographs and a film, projected in the exhibition space, shows these works activated by performers in an urban environment. Manipulated, folded and deployed, these giant fans modify the space and its perception. Depending on where they are placed, on the ground or against the gallery walls, the fans create borders, openings, interstices, and even fragile habitats. In this way, like teepees, they sometimes offer bodies the possibility of a refuge, where spectators can gather, alone or with a partner.
« perpetual displacement of the contour »
Through their materiality - some of them are heavy, very architectural, while others are more aerial and mobile - and through the actions they imply (folding-unfolding, enveloping-expanding, bending-resisting, including-excluding), the fans become the revelation of deep and non-verbalized experiences shared by a same community. Nefeli Papadimouli has thus worked on the "informal spaces", defined by the anthropologist Edward T. Hall as "the distances we observe in our contacts with others": intimate, personal, social, public, these distances generally escape the field of consciousness. In a world where all contact has become potentially dangerous, these social separations have never been so visible and framed. Nefeli Papadimouli's fans reveal them, making us aware of these spacings, the distance from one another as an element of social balance. Redefined by the spectators that can adjust it between them, the space that separates us becomes malleable.
« middle can move »
Matter is made of folds, creases, hollows, anfractuosities; we can slip into them, curl up in them or insinuate ourselves into them. These folds engage both our small perceptions and a macroscopic vision of reality. Folded, they seem to compress the air that surrounds them; in their unfolding, there is a continuous variation of matter as well as a continuous development of form, an unfolding of the sensible that can go so far as to "project the world onto the surface of one fold". With the fan and its "fold that goes to infinity", Nefeli Papadimouli gives us the possibility of enlarging our spaces, and of sharing them. Even when compressed, folded and wrapped, fans have the power to stretch and expand the world. Violette Morisseau