The impossibility of the sea

The Impossibility of the sea – Nostalgic chronicle of an indefinite seafront
Ultramarine acrylic on bedsheet and gold leaf — 97 x 208
Series of 15 paintings, ultramarine acrylic on canvas — 20 x 20
1 ultramarine acrylic on canvas — 60 x 60
1 ultramarine acrylic on 220 g Rosaspina paper and gold leaf — 59.3 x 8
Series of 34 photogram prints on Japanese paper — varying dimensions
Series of 12 collages on postcards — varying dimensions
Series of 13 Polaroids and gold leaf — 9 x 11
Sand installation with audio headsets and poem
1 wall-projected video, 2:20

In this exhibition, Emmanuelle Michaux explores the sea. Her installation presents a mound of sand imbued with memory: poetic memories, fragments of sensations.

Faced with the block of eternity that is the sea, our lives are merely transitory. On the walls, the impossibility of depicting the sea, “ever renewing”, and forever elusive: prints on Japanese paper, Polaroids made vibrant with gold leaf, collages on postcards, paintings on canvas and bedsheet, all interwoven in infinite varieties of size and representations of a sea that eludes capture.

Echoing the installation, a two-minute twenty-second video in super-slow motion, entitled “It was worth the wait” (“Fallait pas rater ça”), drawing on a home movie made by the artist’s father. Slowly the camera pans from the sea towards the sand, in which the word “Fin” is traced, only to be immediately washed away by the waves. The video is presented as an “eternal return” looped sequence, with the background sounds of the projector and a conversation distorted by the slowing effect creating a sense of strangeness, at odds with the wonder generally associated with this type of setting.

Exhibition location: Espace Témoin, Geneva, as part of a group exhibition proposed by Frédéric Elkaïm. From August 28 to September 2, 2019

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