Caroline Mesquita at SALTS

Artist: Caroline Mesquita

Exhibition title: The Visitors

Curated by: Elise Lammer

Venue: SALTS, Birsfelden, Switzerland

Date: April 23 – August 19, 2017

Photography: Gunnar Meier Photography & Gina Folly, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and SALTS

For her exhibition at SALTS, her first institutional solo show in Switzerland, Caroline Mesquita created a new series of lifesize metallic artifacts, which are sculptural elements of the new film she is presenting. Outside, most part of the front facade is concealed by the back of a surreal leisure trailer, which seems to have been parked inside the exhibition space. Working mostly with steel, copper and brass, since 2013 Mesquita has been developing a series of anthropomorphic sculptures evolving over the course of varied fictional scenarios.

Like anonymous bodies, those figures spark an intimate and physical interaction with the viewer, potentially shifting the relationship between subject and object. Each of Mesquita’s exhibition can be watched as one act of a long theatre play, allowing the artist to stage a moment in the life of objects when those are not instumentalised or manipulated by humans. Questioning the inherent anthropocentrism of ail human apprehension, the artist suggests that objects exist independently of our awareness. Entering the space through the side door, the visitor discovers three lifesize steel motorbikes. Somewhere between Western trail bikes and space equipment, those are in fact sculptures made of steel and resin. Carefully crafted after famous sci-fi models, the bikes seem to have been parked or abandoned in a hurry. They lead to a second room, precisely where the caravan was parked. Projected inside the back of the trailer. The Visitors (2017) is a stop-motion video telling the story of some of Mesquita’s steel brass figures, while they “visit” an archetypal Western middle-class family in their front garden. In a hot summer afternoon, the human protagonists lazily fail asleep, leaving the way clear for the visitors to temporarily take advantage of the situation and play with their apathetic bodies. Arriving by motorbikes, a herd of anonymous characters invade the garden to perform a series of enigmatic actions on their subjects. Turning around our expectations, the humans become objects to be touched, teased, carressed, poked and fiddled with.

Caroline Mesquita (born in 1989 in Brest, France) lives and works In Paris, where she graduated from Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 2013. Solo exhibitions include The Ballad, Fondation Ricard, Paris in 2017 (curated by Martha Kirzenbaum); Pink everywhere, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Germany; Cream Sacr/f/ce, Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2016; Camping, Union Pacific, London, 2015; Les Bains-Douches, Les Bains-Douches, Alengon, France, 2014, and Tube, 1m3, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2013. Group exhibitions include COOL MEMORIES, Occidental Temporary, Villejuif, 2016; Europe, Europe, Astrup Fearniey Museet, Oslo, Norway 2014; The Space Between Us, Fahrenheit, Los Angeles, 2014; Memory Palaces, Carlier-Gebauer, Berlin, 2014; La Vie Matärielie, 156me Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris, 2013; and Rob Pruitt’s Flea Market, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, 2012 Mesquita attended the Mountain School of Arts in Los Angeles in the spring of 2014.

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

Caroline Mesquita, The Visitors, 2017, exhibition view, SALTS

 

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