Mathilde Rosier. Impersonal Empire, The Buds

mar 14 - may 5, 2018
via a. stradella 7
opening march 13

Galleria Raffaella Cortese is pleased to announce Impersonal Empire, The Buds, Mathilde Rosier's third solo show at the gallery. The exhibition will run concurrent to her participation in Castello di Rivoli's group show Metamorfosi (March 5th - June 24th), curated by Chus Martínez, and to her exhibition project Figures of Climax of the Impersonal Empire for Fondazione Guido Lodovico Luzzatto, which takes place at the historic home of the famous Milanese scholar and art critic (March 13th - May 6th).

Rosier's research is focused on the creation of suspended environments that allow viewers to lose their perception of time and space, offering an entryway to other possible dimensions of being and existing. Building upon her interests in the psychological and physical experiences of ancient rites and rituals, Rosier works across painting, performance, music and video, evoking a journey between realms that are close to the subconscious, but remain grounded in consciousness.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the French artist produced a video and is showing oil paintings on canvas, building upon a number of themes already present in her work. The human figures, the intimacy of the space, the paintings and the video are all part of a “choral machine” that aims to refine our sensibility towards what we consider real. The intention at the core of these works is to transport us to a space for contemplation, where time is dilated by the encounter with the large canvases on view, a “secluded” and quiet place for meditation. As the artist herself wrote in the text that accompanies the show “one should look at the paintings like in a movie theatre, sitting down, forgetting about their body, forgetting about time.”

The video that opens the show stems from a performance recorded a few days before the opening: two waltz dancers wear costumes designed by the artist and dance across the gallery space, repeatedly removing the letters and signs drawn on the floor. The viewers bear witness of a birth, the budding of a new language and thus that of a new reality, yet one that is too young to be codified. The dance also acts as an introduction to the installation of recent paintings of the Blind Swim  series, in which visionary figures, placed within portals, live in a different world than ours: a fluid and ever-changing atmosphere invites us to meditate and, as Rosier herself stated “when it works, painting, like music, interrupts the incessant functioning of language in the always-agitated mind; it creates a moment of silence, like a landscape after a long walk. It makes us forget our story and our face. It's a kind of joy that makes ones rejoice, hoping to find something deep within us.” Language and faces are tools that allow us to communicate and function in our society, but they don't play a role in the deep meaning of existence that defines life. By leaving the faces almost blank and allowing the artwork to be exhibited with the figures upside-down, and thus free from rules and conventions, Rosier invites us to free our “functional sight” to reinstate a “primordial sight.” 

We can “understand” what we are looking at only once we renounce the desire to interpret it. This attitude is linked to the traditions of Japanese haiku and Zen kōan, both very close to Rosier's own practice, in which the simplicity and brevity of impressions provides depth and perfection. In this sense, interpretation is considered a descriptive cage that goes against the intention of suspending language.