Pia Camil at Sultana

Artist: Pia Camil

Exhibition title: They

Venue: Sultana, Paris, France

Date: June 7 – July 21, 2018

Photography: © aurélien mole / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Sultana, Paris

There is a lot of drama in what Pia Camil puts in front of us, but it’s always a screamless drama, as if suspended: waiting for an upcoming action, the crack. To talk about cracks when approaching Camil’s work, primarly known for her manipulation of textiles, seems, in the first place, quite odd – a fabric doesn’t crack, it rips, it tears apart – But the artist’s textile pieces, always on the verge of ripping because rethought / repaired from already torned apart manufactured products, are the holders of potential cracks, questionning the fragility of what sustain us and hold us together.

The promise of the crack, that which holds the potential of the drama, is also the door to theatre. The curtains, costumes and masks could then, suddenly, become alive. They are, actually, full of holes, holes that could act as the nests for organes with various functions. And then, in between holes and cracks, something happens. It’s about gravity: either Camil’s works are in suspension, or they have fallen, they also enable, sometimes, to suspend the fall – that is the case of the masks and hammock -. And the holes, then, allow an escape in the shape of a fall.

And then there’s They, this hybrid character with hard edges in some places – even pointy -, and with other parts streamlined. They is another way for Camil to interrogate the drama of togetherness. Performing for a camera – another hole -, in a desidentified time-space, They doesn’t seem to be at ease. It is difficult to understand if this character which looks like it came straight out of a Beckett play, is seeking to be seen or trying to hide, but something is certain: They wants jam. In a nearly-erotic routine, They is full desire.

The issue of desire, what we desire, as individuals as well as together, is at the core of Camil’s work. Its strenght lies in the tension between formal pleasure, abstracted from any other preoccupations, and the emphasis put on modes of production which question our relationships to mass production, exploitation and waste: make yourself comfortable at the heart of the hammock in front of you and the questions will arise by themselves.

-Cédric Fauq

Pia Camil (b. 1980) lives and works in Mexico City. She has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London.

Her forthcoming projects include solo-exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary (2018); Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City (2018); and Art Basel Cities, Buenos Aires (2018).

She has exhibited internationally, with recent solo-exhibitions including «Fade into black», at Savannah College of Art and Design Museum (2018); « Bara, Bara, Bara » at Dallas Contemporary (2017), « Home Visit» at Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2016); « Slats, Skins & Shopfittings » at Blum & Poe, New York (2016); «A Pot for a Latch», New Museum, New York (2016); «Skins», Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2015); «The Little Dog Laughed», Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2014); «Espectacular Telón» at Sultana Gallery, Paris (2013); «Cuadrado Negro», Basque Museum Centre for Contemporary Art, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2013) and «El Resplandor» at OMR projects, Mexico City (2009).

Camil’s work is in the permanent collection of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, La Colección Jumex, la Colec-ción Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and the Wattis Museum amongst others.

Pia Camil, Vicky’s blue jeans hammock, 2018, Second-hand blue jeans (from the market in Iztapalapa), 262 x 162 cm

Pia Camil, Bust mask indigo, 2018, Enamel Ceramic (raku) and Slatwall Rotating Tower, 41.3 x 35.6 x 6.4 cm

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Pia Camil, They’s T-shirt Curtain, 2018, Second-hand T-shirts (from the market in Iztapalapa), 2000 x 300 cm

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Pia Camil, They’s tunic, 2018, 280 x 170 cm

Pia Camil, They’s T-shirt Curtain, 2018, Second-hand T-shirts (from the market in Iztapalapa), 2000 x 300 cm

Pia Camil, They’s T-shirt Curtain, 2018, Second-hand T-shirts (from the market in Iztapalapa), 2000 x 300 cm

Pia Camil, They’s T-shirt Curtain, 2018, Second-hand T-shirts (from the market in Iztapalapa), 2000 x 300 cm

Pia Camil, They, 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

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