Gallery Anne Barrault is pleased to present the new solo exhibition of Stéphanie Saadé, a young artist coming from the contemporary Lebanese scene.
Stéphanie Saadé’s work, a poetical enigma, is conceptual, tender and metaphorical. With suggestive language, she explores ordinary objects, and touches the personal and common memories we are made of. Stéphanie Saadé uses simple manipulations and so gives a different meaning to the objects, which become endowed with romantic and sentimental values. The ready-made “Évasion” is the very example of it: an old chocolate wrapper with “Évasion” written on it, and a telephone number… Remembering, memories, nostalgia are key words in Stéphanie Saadé’s work.
A diamond is inlaid somewhere in the floor of the gallery. Thus Stéphanie Saadé contrasts this tiny but nevertheless valuable object with the surface of the floor, commonly trampled on and dusty. This work shows how visitors are not very attentive, or on the contrary are careful towards the precious things, the smallest ones, around them.
Time is fundamental in Stéphanie Saadé’s practice. In this way, the organic work “Contemplating an Old Memory” is made of a germinating lentil starting on the preview of the exhibition, next to its gold casting. When Stéphanie Saadé speaks of this work she says: “ a distance is created between the two seeds: as the lentil germinates and grows, it moves away, parts from the gold casting, the mold of what it was at the start. The seed germinates vertically, towards the sky (evoking the fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”, in which the seed links the earth to the sky), and as it grows, it also moves away from the other seed, horizontally, as on a chronological frieze… As it grows, it can contemplate the past solidified in gold.”
“Malleable, ductile, time can be kneaded like a mollified stone, in spite of its intrinsic rigidity. It comes back when you call it, gets covered with silver or gold, disappears or stretches. Its passage, and the ageing of the exhibition are measured thanks to the stalk of a lentil sprout which stretches and from now on looks from above at its past habitat which seems small, as it was then. Time begets distance. Elastic, it separates the artist from her exhibition, and begets nostalgia.”
In the work “ Identity in Change”, the artist’s recent passport photo, covered with silver leaf, is shown as a temporary mirror which will become oxidized from the opening of the exhibition on, measuring its “ageing” as well.
Another work, a performance, will materialize on the opening of the exhibition, to which Stéphanie Saadé will invite thirty four persons who will have just turned thirty five years old, in order to celebrate an “unexpected reunion together”. To find them, a short announcement will be made in the press: “ The artist, Stéphanie Saadé, is looking for people born on January 11th 1983 for her next exhibition, “a Reunion with unknown Friends”, at gallery Anne Barrault. If you were born on this date, please contact the gallery by phone.”