Earlier this year, French artist Marie Jacotey gave a talk on the difficulty of representing personal emotions in art at It’s Nice That’s monthly event, Nicer Tuesdays. It therefore comes as little surprise that intimacy within relationships is at the heart of Marie’s latest show Goodbye Darkness, currently on display at Balloon Rouge Collective. The exhibition takes the shape of a bedroom, and includes 25-metre textile installation, as well as a number of silver-coated mattresses adorned with hand-drawn images and self-referential text.
“The initial idea was to work on the recreation of a dormitory,” Marie tells It’s Nice That. “I was drawn to the intimacy (and lack thereof) that such a place beholds. It’s for this reason that I’ve chosen to include torn bits of journal in the textile installation. It’s meant to look like one’s diary has been torn up and spread across the room. It’s also meant to elaborate on that feeling of being in someone’s room and using the walls and the beds as a canvas.” Marie’s intricate and attentive artwork spreads itself across the physical gallery space, offering the viewer an all-consuming, immersive experiences a relationship can impact a person and shape who we are and how we perceive ourselves.
Marie’s multimedia show reflects on the ephemeral, fragmented and often confusing experience of intimacy and of being in love. In resisting a linear narrative and encouraging viewers to walk around and interact with the exhibited artworks, Marie encourages the viewer to take the reigns and create their own imagined scenarios. “It also brings about drama,” Marie adds. “Goodbye Darkness plunges us into a highly theatrical setting, a room that feels somewhat haunted. It feels a bit like an abandoned set of props for a play.” The exhibition may point to its own theatricality, yet Goodbye Darkness’ subjectivity feels all the more relevant considering the show’s focus on one person’s heartfelt written extracts of their tumultuous love affair.
Marie’s immersive creative approach is also evident in her triptych Gloria Excelsis, currently on display at the Drawing Room as part of the exhibition, From the Inside Out. The artwork, which represents a more “classic” approach to drawing compared to Goodbye Darkness, is a collaboration between Marie and design duo Soft Baroque. Together, the creatives combined several different drawings in order to tell the story of a first date during which the woman — the female protagonist — was on her period. They then placed their hand-drawn mosaic on a mirrored backdrop. “The framing device is again odd,” Marie says. “Situating the drawings against an unexpected medium allows for multiple layers of meaning. For example: the mirror reflects the viewer as they observe and read the depiction of a very intimate event.”
Despite her two concurrent shows, Marie’s professional life shows no sign of slowing down. “I am now preparing some new drawings for a solo presentation for NADA art fair in Miami coming this December. And, in January 2019, I will be entering the production phase of my first animation movie written by Lola Halifa-Legrand and produced by MIYU in Paris.”