accueil Groupe Novembre Monique Cabasso Chong Jae-Kyoo Xavier Lucchesi Olivier Perrot Salvatore Puglia Martial Verdier


... And maybe more




Monique Calasso’s pieces are like galaxies found somewhere in the universe and shown to us, somewhat crumpled – but isn’t that normal after such a long journey? Monique Calasso’s central gesture is an act of crumpling. What she crumples is nothing else than wet sheets of photographic paper. Of course, each of these sheets is first and foremost a photograph. There is no photograph with no motif, with no referent, but there is no gesture made by a “plastician photographer” devoid of violence against an image, its clarity, its smooth aspect, its perfection – the perfection of a well ironed piece of clothing. There is no photograph devoid of any hope to save the real.

However, Monique Calasso’s artistic gesture challenges these principles. It is the gesture of an iconoclast, which is not a minor paradox. As a matter of fact, it is a gesture of rebellion – against the real platitude of images, against their bogus perfection, against their power to place the real in front of us, straight and erect, in the field of representation.

It is above all an artistic gesture. The point is to restore one of the dimensions of the motif. It is above all a creative gesture. Crumpling creates folds on the surface, like ripples on the water after the fall of a stone. This infinity of folds makes it possible for the image to have a new material life. These unlikely strata thus appear as if they had always belonged to the realm of the real, even if they have never been disclosed before. We must admit it: this artistic and iconoclastic gesture is also a gesture of love.

Restoring the volume of the image thanks to a gesture, the gesture of crumpling in particular, is not only letting the body express itself “in” the image through the gesture; it is also injecting “into” the image what is generally concealed – the vibrations of life itself.

There is no affectation in Monique Calasso’s gesture; it is the attempt to raise – as a volcano could rise from the depths of the earth – a continent of affects, sensations, fears, desires, uncertainties and hopes.

Monique Calasso gives her works a somewhat circular shape, like the shape of unstable and mobile galaxies as we may imagine them; she thus projects the representation of the cosmos and turns the image into a device that can capture the cosmos. She tells us that her “blurred suns”, as the poet would have it, are the unlikely ground of our passions and the future of our hopes. In between, the image aspires to be able to bring men’s memory and time to a standstill. But here, in Monique Calasso’s “crumpling” hands, the image is seen in a perspective which is the opposite of the usual one. The motif is this stone that, once it has fallen into the still water of the universe, is transformed under our eyes. As it is plunged into stellar atoms, the image quivers and bends. Monique Calasso’s deft hands knead memory and time, and, as if we were slowly wakening from a nightmare, reveal the truth of the real, which is what emerges from the chaos of atoms and goes on living on the other side of time.

Jean-Louis Poitevin, Paris 2009
English translation by Gérard Mélis


Monique Cabasso