The idea of nature and humankind’s presence within it has established itself as a common theme explored by the artist. The ephemeral landscapes the artist composes are ecosystems woven together with elements borrowed from the natural world and patiently hand-made objects. For the Ponchettes gallery she has created a quintessential Mediterranean scene completed with hollowed-out trunks evoking the bark from plantain trees, pine needles, waves and a bed of pebbles. In her evocation the artist achieves a rough outline of elements and forms that are enough in their assumed simplicity to conjure up the memory of a landscape, its topography and sensual and sensory experience. The artist, in fact, toys with the deep recesses of memory and sensation so the landscape will jump out to the keen-eyed spectator. “I simply try to slip into the landscape. I’m just looking for accuracy and the bare minimum, so I’m often obliged to trim, to prune. (…) This is what allows me to achieve a certain degree of abstraction,” she explains.
The universe she has created is, in fact, very similar to the Japanese tradition of borrowed scenery (shakkei), and dry gardens (karesansui) that combine extreme sophistication, miniature reproduction of nature, refined symbolism, the faithful replication of the landscape and the search for quintessential natural spaces.
But while they share certain asceticism, Dominique Ghesquière’s works are meant to be tongue-in-cheek, subtly toying with our sense of perception and the effect of illusion. Around the space, she deploys mutant, hybrid species of elements, blurring the lines between the natural and the manufactured
Somewhere between death and diorama, her landscape compositions thus defy the immediacy of evocation, the slowness of execution, the meticulousness of manufactured objects and the precision of the scansion of space. Through her multiple gestures the artist puts herself in the place of a discreet demiurge of a non-heroic landscape.
Suspended in an eternal autumn, her landscape ultimately assumes the value of vanity, highlighting the vulnerability of the ecosystems we live in and the permanent entropy caused by human action.
Hélène Guenin, director of MAMAC ; Olivier Bergesi, project manager in MAMAC
With the support of the Association des Amis du MAMAC and Lycée Pasteur, section baccalauréat professionnel Artisanat et Métiers option Marchandisage Visuel