Cecile Pleasant. Role-playing games 24/01/2019 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 Cecil Plesans. Along with the photos here you can see works made in an unusual and expressive hologram technique. The project will not only acquaint the Russian audience with the art of Plesans, but will also become one of the artist’s largest exhibitions at the moment. In his works, Cecile Plesance explores the roles that we play in our public and private life, as well as how those around us perceive us — without hesitation, based on stereotypes and hasty judgments, often made superficially or biased. In order to further draw attention to this aspect of works, a special immersive atmosphere will be created in the exhibition halls of Erarta, reminiscent of a peep show: visitors will navigate through a specially constructed maze, as if “peeping” at the works of the artist. Couples embraced in their arms, nude dolls and shocking scenes will appear to their eyes - such a spectacle cannot be missed.
Cecile Pleisance 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 Erarte. According to the artist herself, taking the first steps in photography and digital image processing, she drew inspiration from the staged shots of Helmut Newton. At some point, Pleasans tried to reproduce these images, using the Barbie doll borrowed from her daughter instead of a live model. Thus, several series of photographs with Barbie were born: as if they were living dolls posing in different situations - on vacation, on a yacht, on board a helicopter and on the covers of various magazines. At times, dolls blend so perfectly with their surroundings that the border between reality and fantasy is blurred. The spectator inadvertently wonders who is in front of him - dolls depicting female models, or real women playing the role of glamorous dolls so convincingly that those around them no longer perceive them in any other way.
Usually, dolls serve to play certain scenes or situations, allowing children to immerse themselves in a certain imaginary world and contribute 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 Rescuers collection or the GI Joe series, depicting representatives of different types of troops. The question involuntarily arises: do the children themselves invent roles for dolls they play in, or do dolls as an instrument of the industry that created them influence us or even program certain attitudes into us — usually superficial, gender-differentiated and unrelated to reality. Girls all over the world still play Barbie, although lately this doll has often become the object of criticism, since it not only forms a completely unrealistic standard for the perception of the female body, but 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 associated with a number of restrictions, Pleasant began to attract live models to the shooting. But one image was not enough for her to express the complex and multifaceted nature of a woman. In an effort to create a kind of ode of femininity and to prove that “regardless of differences in clothing, cultural code and way of life, women strive to live a full, versatile and exciting life,” Pleisans chose a hologram as her main artistic practice. The lenticular printing technique allows two different images to be superimposed on each other - for example, a dressed and naked model. Using this new expressive form allows Pleasans to explore the countless facets of femininity, reflecting on the contradictions between self-esteem and the opinions of others, as well as the image that we try to maintain in public, carefully concealing our secrets and secret desires.
The exhibition is realized with the assistance of the gallery Galerie Envie D’Art.
About Cecile Pleasant:
Cecile Pleasant’s work 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, Pleasans moved to Brussels and decided to devote herself entirely to her true passion - photography. After taking a course in photostudy 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 Cecile Pleasant in the professional community was confirmed by awarding her the first prize at the photo contest of Photo Magazine magazine in 2018. The artist has achieved significant commercial success: her work adorns a number of iconic collections, in particular, the personal collections of the King of Morocco and Mary Jo Malone, founder of the brand Jo Malone.