Camille Dumond at Espace d’art contemporain (les halles)

Artist: Camille Dumond

Exhibition title: Parallel Quarry (II)

Proposed by: CAN Centre d’art Neuchâtel

Venue: Espace d’art contemporain (les halles), Porrentruy, Switzerland

Date: July 9 – August 21, 2022

Photography: Sebastian Verdon / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist, Espace d’art contemporain (les halles) and CAN Centre d’Art Neuchâtel

A series of spheres levels the visual plane in reassuring proximity, creating a cosmology within easy reach. Split in two, then reunited, concatenations of bodies sewn together, their organic constitution turns them into chimerical beings, like assemblages of oppositions that structure the way we perceive human life: animate versus inanimate, inside and outside, subject and object. This artistic systematics underpins a political discourse of celestial, social or human bodies. These vessels carry their own promises of new worlds and associated questions: what does one leave behind and what does one need to take? The dislocated puppet BGY5, presented as a uniform to be donned, further develops these questions of an organised social body. Made of organic elements enamelled with willow, thuja and lavender ashes, the piece looks like an exoskeleton with vulnerable qualities.

Like a symbolic threshold from one world to another, or from one type of order to the next, the arches betray their systematics: what they are meant to let through, or rather what they attempt to filter. One is made of yellow and black blinds, echoing the motifs of Derek Jarman’s house in England, the cradle of a cinematic community and of a fragile, gravel garden near a nuclear power station. The other shows a gradient of grey tones that look likes it could open onto an office corridor inhabited by whitish printers. It reflects a whole register of poor visuality that recurs through a play of light, or through the symbolism of the shreds of skin of the glazed earthenware that cling to it. Close to the symbolism of the vessel, the arch also touches on the social body: here, that of workers.

The animated film, Pantino M49, takes up the codes of another anonymous corridor: is it a reunion of two office colleagues or a staging of the split psyche of this harlequin trying to reconnect? With these splintered works, Camille Dumond submits different subjective orders to structures that attempt to organise and sequence them.

Parallel Quarry (II) then reveals a critical method that revolves around the figure of the wound: that of the spheres, joined and sewn together, that suggested by the reunion of the two puppets, and the cracks in the vulnerable sequentiality of the arches.

Allusions to the party world underline these bodies in movement, and the spheres are reminiscent of disco balls. In the agitation, they dislocate the scenes, give rhythm to the appearance of the bodies, and fluidify their relationship to the environment. The earthenware of the spheres reflects the surrounding light and triggers a series of behaviours, provoking a desire to touch and dissolve distance. Movements of rupture and reconnection – a politics of coming and going.

-Paolo Baggi, Translation : AJS Craker

Camille Dumond (*1988, Evreux) is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice unfolds through installations, sculptures, editorial projects and film-making. These invest narrative strategies around questions of transposition, translation, often through specific contexts involving the motif of the huis-clos. Exploring different registers (realism-magic, comedy, absurd, documentary), they show individuals positionning themselves in a group. Like so many speculative extensions of the films, her ceramic sculptures and installations set out in their own way the markers of a narrative approach. She has recently exhibited in Palais de l’Athénée – Salle Crosnier (Geneva), Espace Forde (Geneva), Unanimous Consent (Zurich), Espace in.plano (Paris), Centre d’art CAN (Neuchâtel), FRAC de Pays de la Loire (Nantes).