Artist: Pauline Curnier Jardin
Exhibition title: I still send you a lot of affection and kiss you through my denture
Venue: 1646, The Hague, The Netherlands
Date: March 22 – April 21, 2019
Photography: Jhoeko / images copyright and courtesy of the artist and 1646, The Hague
“The old hags, the dykes, the frigid, the unfucked, the unfuckables, the neurotics, the psychos, all those girls that don’t get a look in the universal market of the consumable chick”. This is a description by the French filmmaker and writer Virginie Despentes describing her preferred readers. Similarly the personas in the work of Pauline Curnier Jardin in the exhibition at 1646 evoke the old daring and joyous godmothers, finally “out of market” – free, gratis.
This exhibition revolves around the background characters of a future feature length film of the artist, Sebastiano Blu. The focus is on the Menopaused. Curnier Jardin uses this opportunity to find them a body, a place, a space and a voice.
To the artist it seems that ever since she was a child there is a place where women could find a certain peace: in old age (if, in youth, one didn’t choose to be a nun). To be menopaused or virgin can be seen as a political gesture of removing oneself from the cycle of social reproduction, to not “feed the empire with a new generation of soldiers or a renewed tax base.“*’. Her solo show will be an apathetic, tragicomic mutiny of oldies.
There will be ladies’ skins, flat and soft women. They could be rolled up and stored; heaped up; thrown onto tired old furniture to dress it up; slipped on like a suit; or attached to the wall like a pin-up.” There will be crawling ladies, amorphous, with nice skin, dull of colour, shiny but not untouched. Women who never swear, that are hunting trophies, possibly conquered, consumed and exhibited. A life marked them, even gave them a look, big eyes, a gutted animal life. They will be joined by a slapping zombie puppet and a sexy retired women’s choir.
Curnier Jardin relates to her practice through personas, through the embodiment and animation of concepts and feelings, through the Rabelaisian spectacle that lets myths come to life and facts melt to forms. She has the tendency to create a universe that blurs and confuses the seemingly logical divisions between human and nonhuman, rationality and emotion, sacred and profane, ally and enemy, masculine and feminine, showing instead how each part of these equations are capable of interacting and combining, how each has alternatives, possibilities, and the freedom to do wonderful things. In her previous film works she has revisited the stories of Joan of Arc, Bernadette Soubirou and the Goddess Demeter, the birth of Jesus and his saint Family, the Anatomic Theatre of the Renaissance, the dark side of that same Renaissance; the spectres of world wars, and, the exploitation and destruction that haunt the European past and present. Her so-called baroque, grotesque and at times dark aesthetics mix influences from B-movies, folklore, dance, anarchy and epic poetry, catholic and pagan ritual, and the realness of streets and village parties. It draws inspiration from earlier experimental and contemporary filmmakers but also from the countless, nameless creators of popular culture and nature itself.
Curnier Jardin completed a residency at the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam in 2015-2016. She is the winner of the Dutch prize NN Award, was nominated for the Prix Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard and previous works have been awarded in international film festivals: Age D’Or, Outra Mirada, and Otto d’Ame amongst others. In 2017, she was commissioned by Frieze Film and Channel 4 to produce the short film Teetotum that she produced with Primitive Films, with whom she is currently writing her first feature film, Sebastiano Blu. The past two years she has been tutor at the Dutch Art Institute and visiting Professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. She is one of the four artists nominated this year for the german prestigious Preis Der Nationalgalerie.
Selected solo and group exhibitions, commissioned projects and screenings include: 57th Venice Biennale, IT; Tate Modern, London, UK; International Film Festival, Rotterdam, NL; Video Art At Midnight; Berlin, Shirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, DE; Futura, Prague, CZ; Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam, NL (2017-2018). Performa 15, New York, US; The Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, FR; Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich, CH; University of São Paulo, São Paulo, BR (2015). MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, US (2014). Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, DE; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR (2013). Centre George Pompidou, Paris, FR (2012). Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, FR; ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, DE (2010).
-in »The World Inside Out » Ana Teixera Pinto on Pauline Curnier Jardin, for TEXTWork, Fondation Ricard pour l’Art Contemporain.