Today, news is fairly good. We are in January 2018, Lucie Picandet is presenting her second solo exhibition at the Vallois gallery, following Idiose in 2016. These are the facts. But is it all certain? As mentioned, for this young artist who won the Emerige Revelations Grant in 2015, both her world and words are subject to specific rules and timelines, forcing us to reconsider everything: when, where and who are we.
This Au jour d’Hui (literally “the day we are”, from the old French hui meaning “today” itself) is the new episode of her fictional project Celui que je suis (literally “the one I am”) which gives the exhibition its title. It marks the present moment, Hui’s one (the artist), the exact founding time of its own downfall depicted in the three artworks opening the exhibition.
Let’s start from the beginning. Back in 2004, Lucie Picandet found a photographic postcard in a flea market in Paris that will set it all in motion (research, writing, creation) and therefore influence her works (embroideries, notebooks, sculptures, etc.). The stage is set.
Going back in time, she continues here her introspective and sensitive journey within her world-body: brain, eye, heart, intestinal ora... Every work is a step. Her unconscious and universe are invented and unfolded before our eyes, transposed into shapes and words in an unbridled manner. We watch her become the train of her thoughts. Woolen threads running here and there are yet to be pulled and looked at closely. Then follow the recommended itinerary in the meanders of Hui, diving or else digging with it. What is displayed makes one’s head spin: colors, materials, effects, subjects, ora and fauna. It’s whirling, circulating, pulsating and grinding all over. Lucie Picandet really knows the ways and means of giving life, energy and texture to what she puts on paper. Her new series of watercolors, bright and radiant, combine both writing and images, just like in her previous embroideries.
We move from figuration to abstraction, from macroscopic to microscopic, from reality to imagination, from astrophysics to molecular biology. A moment of suspended or extended time, your choice: a second could be a century in this mysterious and incredibly timeless world.
Passionate about quantum physics, Lucie Picandet enjoys playing with scale and time. Presented in the second part of the exhibition, her large inner landscapes are experienced by moving from a short, medium or long distance. One needs to get closer to see the invisible. Shown in late 2017 at the Palais de Tokyo as part of Les Mains sans Sommeil exhibition, the Artists’ Residencies programme of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès. Visitors would try to decipher them as if they were unknown maps. Inner landscapes symbolizing outer worlds, populated by the artist’s surreal creations- creatures: colour agent, « houleur » agent and other unidentified characters. Somewhere between Jérôme Bosch and Gilles Barbier.
Since her last exhibition Lucie Picandet’s tool-sculptures are also larger, allowing her to “test the waters” as she puts it, and capture emotions. She uses the first person to talk about her artworks: she embodies them, relates them, connects them, inventing her own mythology. Lucie Picandet lives in Fontainebleau (70km from Paris), likes watching scientific videos on Canal-U (a digital video-library) and can talk about astrophysics et metaphysics for hours. The ideal of work she has been developing over the past ten years, starting on this well- known day of 2004 in a flea market, embraces timelines and matter and spreads confusion once and for all. Au jour d’Hui, sum of yesterday and material of tomorrow, namely the artist’s space-time, Lucie’s one. Astonishing and explosive.