Cecile Pleasant. Role-playing games Automatic translate
с 1 Февраля
по 2 Июня
Музей современного искусства Эрарта
Васильевский остров, 29-я линия, д.2
This winter, the Erarta Museum will present a unique exhibition of modern French photo artist Cecile Pleasant. Along with photographs, here you can see works made in an unusual and expressive hologram technique. The project will not only acquaint the Russian audience with the work of Pleasance, but will also become one of the artist’s largest exhibitions at the moment. In his works, Cecil Pleasant explores the roles that we play in our public and private life, as well as how others perceive us - without hesitation, based on stereotypes and hasty judgments, often made superficially or biased. In order to additionally draw attention to this aspect of Pleasant’s works, a special immersive atmosphere will be created in the exhibition halls of Erarta, reminiscent of peep shows: visitors will move through a specially constructed labyrinth, as if “spying” on the artist’s works. Couples merged in their arms, naked dolls and shocking scenes will appear before their eyes - such a sight cannot be missed for sure.
Cecil Pleasant first attracted the attention of the art community after the release of the Barbie series, some of which will also be presented at the exhibition in Erarta. According to the artist herself, taking her first steps in photography and digital image processing, she drew inspiration from the production frames of Helmut Newton. At some point, Pleasance tried to reproduce these images, using a Barbie doll borrowed from her daughter instead of a living model. Thus, several series of photographs were born with the participation of Barbie: as if alive, dolls posing in various situations - on vacation, on a yacht, on board a helicopter and on the covers of various magazines. From time to time, dolls blend so perfectly with their surroundings that the line between reality and fantasy is blurred. The viewer inadvertently wonders who is in front of him - dolls depicting female models, or real women playing the roles of glamorous dolls so convincingly that others cease to perceive them in any other way.
Usually dolls serve to play certain scenes or situations, allowing children to plunge into a certain imaginary world and contributing to their creative and intellectual development. As a rule, toy manufacturers come up with some roles or professions for dolls. Examples include the Barbie Rescuer from the Malibu Rescue Collection or the GI Joe series, depicting members of various military branches. The question involuntarily arises: do the children themselves come up with roles for the dolls they play, or do the dolls as an instrument of the industry that created them affect us or even program certain settings in us - usually superficial, gender-differentiated and not related to reality. Girls all over the world still play Barbie, although recently this doll has often become the object of criticism, as it not only forms a completely unrealistic standard for the perception of the female body, but also always performs exclusively superficial roles that have lost their relevance in the era of feminism.
Still inspired by the work of Newton, as well as Michael Dweck and Richard Avedon and realizing that working with Barbie is connected with a number of limitations, Pleasance began to involve live models in the filming. But one image was not enough for her to express the complex and multifaceted nature of a woman. In an effort to create a peculiar ode to femininity and to prove that “regardless of differences in clothing, cultural code and lifestyle, women strive to live a full, diverse and exciting life,” Pleasance chose a hologram as her main artistic practice. The lenticular printing technique allows you to overlap two different images - for example, dressed and nude models. Using this new expressive form allows Pleasance to explore the innumerable facets of femininity, reflecting on the contradictions between self-esteem and the opinions of others, as well as on the image that we try to maintain in public, carefully hiding our secrets and secret desires.
The exhibition was implemented with the assistance of the Galerie Envie D’Art Gallery.
About Cecile Pleasance:
Cecile Pleasant’s works will be presented in Russia for the first time. Leaving behind ten years of work in European financial companies, and later in the media, in 2008 Pleasance moved to Brussels and decided to devote herself completely to her true passion - photography. After taking a training course in photography and digital image processing at the Contrast Academy of Art, Cecile first attracted the attention of critics thanks to her graduation exhibition project. Subsequently, the success of Cecil Pleasant in the professional community was confirmed by awarding her the first prize in the framework of the photo contest Photo Magazine in 2018. The artist also achieved significant commercial success: her works adorn a number of iconic collections, in particular, personal collections of the King of Morocco and Mary Joe Malone, the founder of the brand Jo Malone.