Nefeli Papadimouli is currently presenting "Etres forêts" at Frac Grand Large (Dunkerque).
These new works are the fruits of experiences elaborated during the residency Archipelago in les Hauts-de-France.
The exhibition is on view until 31 December.
Archipelago is a residency programme designed in collaboration with the art schools in Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais, Denain and Lille, with the support of the Drac Hauts-de-France and the Pas de Calais department.
This residency allowed them to pursue their artistic exploration through readings, sound and visual recordings, object collection, handling, welding, sewing, engraving and numerous conversations. They took on a new working environment, experimented with new techniques and involved other artists, students, instructors and residents in their artistic processes.
The fruits of these new experiences are presented in the exhibition at the Frac Grand Large which puts their different perspectives and tendencies on display. This exhibition also takes place in an unprecedented context, one of lock-down, distancing, remote work and at times even illness. These circumstances have deeply modified the conditions under which the artists produced; they equally impact how their works will be experienced by visitors forcibly masked , their bodies constrained and their movements even more scrutinised. And although this exhibition crosses different universes, it brings us back to our own bodies and desires to see, feel, and welcome irreducible and contemporaneous visions.
Originally from Greece where she studied architecture, Nefeli Papadimouli graduated in 2016 from the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris. Her interest in habitat is located in the extension of the body; she explores the spaces “between”, which she shapes by taking the negative imprint of the void that separates two bodies. Shapes-objects are then produced from plywood, painted in different colours and placed at the visitor’s disposal for measurement against their own body.
During her residency in Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais, her work shifted to more flexible materials and environments: fabric, leather, burlap and fibreglass before it hardens. In Boulogne-sur-Mer, the artist stretched threads throughout the exhibition space, creating a joyful entanglement that enthralled the visitor all the while forcing them to move about with utmost caution. In Calais, the artist installed a sewing workshop where she assembled fragments of leather into huge hats that connected together at the rims to form a collective headdress. Thwarting norms and conventions, the artist also shaped enormous burlap bags, the scale of which alludes to the body. With a mix of organic materials and a patchwork of colours, the exhibition displayed forms and shapes at rest.
At the Frac Grand Large, a proliferate amalgam of various pockets assembled together make up a dozen pieces of connected clothing. A video presents this gigantic costume worn collectively by performers who wander in a forested area. Their movements put into play the tension of their bodies and the perpetual transformation of the relational landscape.
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