Sophie Bueno–Boutellier

selected works | exhibitions | texts | biography

Sophie Bueno–Boutellier
»C'est à crier tellement c'est bleu«
26.10.–22.12.2012 | Preview 26.10.2012, 6–9 pm

Sophie Bueno-Boutellier's exhibition »C'est à crier tellement c'est bleu« takes as a starting point the writing of Marguerite Duras (1914-1996), and in particular her short film Les mains négatives (1979) — a 14 minute-long filmic mediation on prehistoric hand marks set against a background of Parisian streets. None of this directly reoccurs in Bueno-Boutellier's homage, yet her creative strategy resonates with the French writer and filmmaker's. While Duras's use of language expertly evokes conflicting emotions with a pared down vocabulary, the artist's stark sculptural elements suffice to conjure up a complex, discursively loaded atmosphere. And "C'est à crier tellement c'est bleu" doesn't simply rely on the objects themselves, but on their dialogue and contrast, as well as on the space binding them together. In this exhibition, like in Les mains négatives, the work's locus is to be found in the interstices.

The installation that gave the show its title (itself borrowed from Duras) stands as an abstracted landscape, with its palm resting on rectangular blocks like a tree on ruins after a storm, a rectangular lake, and two geometric figures overlooking the scene. Like most of the other elements, the pedestal on which this almost classical scenario unfolds is a plaster cast. The brittle material contradicts the sculpture's function as a stage, as a mere tool needed for the tightly choreographed mise-en-scene to take place; it turns it into an active component — a participating "actor" in this open-ended storyline. The white expanse identifies the void as the piece's key component, a physical equivalent to the all-important silences punctuating Duras's prose and to the prehistoric signs' presence by absence.

With their subtle pastel shades, the two wall-based works L'homme orchestre and Acerbic wit (2012) open up on a pictorial elsewhere, gouging out fictional escape routes in the walls' white masses. They also suggest bodies: the artist's own, fully engaged as she folds and smears with acrylic the canvas spread on the floor, as well as others, invisible yet as if draped by these cloak-like "kind of paintings," to use Bueno-Boutellier's own words. Production and outcome merge to constitute the works; shifting shadows inscribe their changing courses in the fabric's very wefts.

There's an inescapable sense of the ephemeral in this body of work, as if Bueno-Boutellier's loose narratives could be reinvented at the drop of a hat. The role the artist grants to light, and her signature colour scheme, contributes to this alluring and unsettling impression of flux. Her sea greens and ice blues are so fair as to flirt with disappearance. More than colours, the artist makes colour propositions, open to interpretation. Just like the modest sculptural objects she so precisely stages, her understated palette is also the most evocative. Bueno-Boutellier's self-effacing visual lexicon is precisely what allows space for the poetic imaginary to emerge.

Sophie Bueno–Boutellier (born in Toulouse, lives and works in Berlin) studied at Villa Arson, Nice. Recent solo exhibitions include Kunstverein Langenhagen, Germany (2011); Freymond–Guth, Zurich (2011); and Circus, Berlin (2010). Recent group exhibitions include Contemporary Archeologies, Musée du château des ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbeliard, France (2012); The Possessed, Triangle, Marseille (2012); Lumière Noire, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe (2011); Cometa rossa, Fluxia Gallery, Milan (2010); and Prix Ricard – L'image cabrée, Fondation d'entreprise Ricard, Paris (2009). Upcoming group exhibitions: My body is a cage, Freymond–Guth, Zurich (October 2012); Plentitude, Carl Freedman Gallery, London (November 2012); and Beyond the Object, Brand New Gallery, Milan (January 2013).