Once Upon The Wolf…Exhibition Introduction – April 2010
« If animals did not exist, the nature of man would be even more incomprehensible» Georges-Louis Buffon.
Between Mythology and shareholding reality, between classicism and contemporaneousness, French sculptor Laetitia-May Le Guelaff explores the limits of the fractures between mankind and animal. She investigates how could one, from the point of view of form, isolate, manage and integrate the conflict between animality and humanity in mankind.
It’s not so much the idea of fictional working which shows through my plastic art approach but rather more the idea of using images (cinema, literary or artistic ) making up my imaginary to touch on more violent significant questions. The whole through numerous textual and iconographic searches, historical as well as philosophical, mythological, scientific or artistic.
One of the aspects of my plastic concerns, regarding to the attraction/repulsion games between human beings and animals but also between materials themselves, finds expression in a sculptural practice, rooted in the « workshop tradition », with a deep implication and confrontation of (the) matter.
The theme got on to, is more easily treated from the angle of hybridizations, of chimeras (wild dreams), or all forms of linking organic and mechanical.
Leaning on legendary evocations of mythological beasts, some hybridizations become the incarnation of our fears and our anguishes. Human beings have always tended to use the beasts to stigmatize their mistakes, the outrageous and monstrous acts both social and political. The use of the animal representation (of a part only or of the whole) also finds its interest for the potential of danger included in these forms and which reveals the constituent aggressiveness of our human nature .This tendency to try to possess, to enslave, to control or to kill one’s fellow man constitutes a threat for the survival of the human societies.
Some of my experimentations touch on the limits of the fracture between the human being and the animal. Throughout this questioning, it’s a quest, an identity search, which stands out. Living with the feeling that « what we are » is only « what we look like », is just like living in the ambivalence and in the ever-lasting questioning of a double and dubious identity. It’s like overshadowing the Other in Self, it’s like overshadowing the beast. But, sometimes, hidden behind the mask or behind the animal itself, the human being succeeds in escaping from one’s nature/human condition. He identifies himself to the beast, takes up one’s features, its abilities and gains its virtues.
In all forms of mythological imageries or in tales, animals are a kind of personification, a projection of our behaviors. The animal, sometimes perceived as the substitute of fluffy toys, sometimes as a weapon, allows me a sort of incarnation. It becomes a negative double symbolizing a repressed urge and the movements of the unconscious, a support for the expressions of anguishes linked to the body and to the concern (anxiety) joined up with the states of identity.
How can few forms refer to different imaginaries, to a real personal thematic, from poetry to horror?
How can we question their plausibility if it’s not through setting them in Nature?
Artistic, literary and film references: Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, Jana Sterback, Hélène Chadwick, Rebecca Horn, Barbara Hepworth, Mathew Barney, Ian Fabre, Anish Kapoor, Brancusi, Cathy de Monchaux, Lynda Bengalis (« Parenthesis » 1975), Eva Hesse, Claude Cahun, Oleg Kulig, Annette Messager, Jeff Koons, Ivan Kafka « From Nowhere to Nowhere », William Blake, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Hitchcock, David Cronenberg, Tim Burton, Hayao Miyazaki, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Christophe Gans, James Cameron