Océane Bruel’s sculptural approach is set out like a score of gestures, placements and slow transformations.
In her first solo exhibition in France, her existential concerns intertwine with sensitive materialities. With and between the living and non-living, the artist draws attention to the intensities of what is considered minor. She selects, manipulates, alters, moulds, combines and arranges meticulously.
Over the months of preparation, she was particularly attentive to her dreams and the sudden appearance of memories. “A fascination with these persistent images has taken hold, and I feel the pleasure and comfort in them. As the weeks went by, I got into a meditative drift of ambiguity, empathy and aloofness”.
She describes her practice and the material of her works as «affect storage», infused with intimacy and touch. For instance, she uses specific plants (and their fragrances) from the scrubland; her childhood territory. Rosemary, sage and verbena appear through their scents and in decoctions presented in everyday containers. As they evolve during the exhibition, they refer to both medicinal and daily practices, as well as to landscape and earth.
Elements – like clothes and fruit pits – taken from the artist’s environment are integrated into the studio life and production of works. They are combined with pieces she realized in the spring at Moly-Sabata. In the residency, the artist developed a series of works on mirrors. Drawings and notes, traced in the silvering, evoke the experience of digital interfaces. They emerge from a confusion between our subjectivity and the subtle incorporation of socio-technical power in ourselves.
Nevertheless, the universe into which L like Molecule brings us, resists identification and personal history. The focus is on sharing the ordinary and inviting us to give into the drift.