Plastic photographer, Marguerite Bornhauser lives and works in Paris. Graduated in 2015 from the National School of Photography in Arles, she exhibited in 2019 at the European House of Photography in Paris.

“Closed for works”: carte blanche to Marguerite Bornhauser

©Marguerite Bornhauser

Since the fall, at the invitation of the Rmn – Grand Palais, she has been surveying the spaces of the Grand Palais and taking a resolutely non-documentary and contemporary look at the monument: dominated by color, light and the search for detail, her work reveals the invisible and sublimates the triviality of the huge electrical ducts that punctuate the construction site with objects that have stranded there by chance. She also collects some of them – bolts, padlocks, signs and entrance tickets from another time – in a process of plastic experimentation.

The first chapter of this carte blanche, which will continue until 2025, includes 15 film photos and videos, which the artist simply took with his phone during his visits. It testifies to the artist's discovery and wonder at the construction site, to the feeling "of being part of a moment in history", in the heart of a setting experienced as that of a theatre, a quasi-cinematic universe. This first moment of the site being that of cleaning, it allowed the artist to gradually capture the exhumation of the layers of paint on the walls, of materials hitherto invisible, of debris on the ground. Each of these captured objects is presented in a decontextualized manner, in an almost abstract approach devoid of spatial cues.

Excerpt from the conversation between Marguerite Bornhauser and Chris Dercon, April 2022

CD: Do you know that everything you photographed at the Grand Palais, as in the excavations, will disappear?

MB: But that's it, it's this idea that is magnificent and it applies to photography in general, everything will disappear, and there will remain - for a while - the images to make them last. I have the impression of living a historic moment, and of having an incredible chance to see this permanent evolution. Because every time we come, it's so different! In everyday life, there are few occasions to see such a rapid and monumental transformation of a place in such a short time.

CD: What's also very interesting in your work is that sometimes, in your photos, there's a very classic theme, it's the fold. There is also the crease between two photos when you juxtapose them in a diptych. And each time, in the patterns, there is the fold. Why this fascination?

MB: In fact, I like confrontations, oppositions. I like that things are not totally in agreement. And so the diptych, for me, is a way of contrasting two things. In fact, I don't think I really like the relationship to beauty that is too aesthetic, too slick, I like the idea that there are elements that create a break that makes you wonder. The fold for me constitutes a mini visual fracture, associations of forms of colors, which astonish, which are not natural.

CD: Something wrong?

MB: That's it! And the fold, that's it, in fact. When we have a crease in our clothing, we want to smooth it out, and that's what interests me: to destabilize with small details, to wrinkle reality to take it towards something stranger, more poetic .

the entire conversation can be found on the Grand Palais website

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