Gaëlle Choisne28.04.22 - 01.05.22
NıCOLETTı presents a solo exhibition by French-Haitian artist Gaëlle Choisne (b. 1985, represented by the gallery). Laureate of the Aware Women Art Prize in 2021, Choisne develops a multidisciplinary practice that addresses the political and cultural complexities of the world through a composite imaginary interweaving Caribbean and European literature, esoteric Creole traditions, occult fables, ancient mythology and contemporary popular culture.
At ART BRUSSELS, Choisne’s exhibition comprises works from the Stèles series, an ongoing project initiated in 2013. Made of analog photographs that are then printed digitally on raw concrete, these Stèles are monuments honouring the people of Haiti, where the artist is involved in a number of projects with various private and public institutions.
Developed after the earthquake that ravaged the country in 2010, this group of works documents the houses and buildings that have been destroyed by the natural disaster, as well as Port-au-Prince’s everyday life, which Choisne continues to shoot today. By printing photographs on concrete, Choisne attempts to give a material existence to her images, evoking the persistence of memories inscribed on architectural fragments. Choisne then rubs her Stèles with coarse salt to erode their surfaces. Referring to Haitian folk traditions, in which coarse salt has the symbolic function of protecting people against malicious spirits, this process generates marbling landscapes at the surface of the Stèles, creating an antinomic relationship between the forces of raw matter and the precariousness of recollection.
Throughout the series, Choisne makes a parallel between the conflictual relationships between the materials she uses and the complexity of Haitian culture, which is perpetually torn apart between the influence of colonialism and the persistence of indigenous traditions. As such, the Stèles attempt to give a physical memory to a country that was one of the first to be colonized as well as the first to gain its independence. Interweaving archaic forms, industrial materials and new technologies, Choisne’s works are conceived as the testimonies of a ramifying history, redeploying sculpture and photography as means to excavate the seeds of emancipatory politics in our past, present and future actions.
Gaëlle Choisne (b. 1985, France) lives and works between Paris and Berlin. She also works with a number of public and private institutions in Haiti, where she is engaged in various alternative, collective and cultural projects. Selected solo exhibitions include Temple of Love — Atopos, MAC VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine, FR (2022), Mondes Subtiles, Air de Paris, FR (2021); Défixion, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, archaeological site of Lattara – Musée Henri Prades, in collaboration with MO.CO., Montpellier, FR (2020); Temple of Love, Nuit Blanche, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, FR (2020); Temple of Love — Adorable, The Mistake Room, Los Angeles, CA (2019), Temple of Love, Bétonsalon, Paris, FR (2018). Her work was exhibited in international group exhibitions including Soft Water, Hard Stone, The 5th New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York, USA (2021), the 15th Biennale de Lyon, FR (2019); the 14th Curitiba Biennial, Brazil (2019); the Sharjah Biennial 13, Beirut (2017); the 12th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2015); and the 13th Biennale de Lyon (2015). She has also had the opportunity to exhibit her work in international institutions such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon; the MAMO, Cité Radieuse of Le Corbusier, Marseille; CAFA Museum in Beijing, and the Pera Museum in Istanbul. Her upcoming projects include a solo show at the Musée National de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris (2022–23); total climate part 1: the infinitesimal and the mobile, group exhibition at NıCOLETTı, London (Jun–Jul 2022); Temple of Love – To Hide, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2022); and her first solo show at NıCOLETTı, London (Sep–Nov 2022)
Selected public and private collections: Musée Fabre – Fondation Tiphaine, Montpellier, FR; Kadist, Paris, FR; FRAC Champagne Ardenne, Reims, FR; and CNAP (Centre national des arts plastiques), Paris, FR; Fonds d’art contemporain – Paris Collection, FR.