Edited by the CEC!
Focus: Mélanie Matranga
Mélanie Matranga’s artistic approach is crossed by stories that infiltrate a production of objects, installations, films, and even pieces of furniture and reconstructions of interiors that are loaded with signifying signs, texts and images: drawings, photographs, prints, projections. These combined elements propose “situations” that interrogate intimacy and seem to be filled with sensations and residual feelings, receptacles where real life experience and imagination, the document and the scenario meet.
Mélanie Matranga analyses issues related to identity, relations linked to love, to the other and to community. In a society where everyone seems to live in his or her emotionally, psychologically and socially isolated world, and where exchange seems deferred by the absorbing digital world, social networks, by the merging of new fears and injunctions to being “one’s self”, intensifying even more egocentricity, amplifying the loss of solidarity and accentuating solitude. Matranga’s “rooms” offer a calm atmosphere, favourable to listening, empathy and thinking.
These “places” question a world where individualism and different community groups seem to juxtapose more and more and cut individuals off from one another. These phenomena of non-communication are particularly and subtly showcased in the last two videos of Mélanie Matranga, Jour&Nuit (2015) and You (2016), where figures – often teenagers – meet and try to communicate verbally, emotionally, sensually or sexually without success. In these short stories, the actors seem to float, stuck in their minds or their personal concerns, they have trouble communicating, but without really minding. They meet, miss each other, meet up again, coincidently, led by a very open scenario, leaving time and space to be free to experiment and live.
Mélanie Matranga remains in a simple, poor and accessible aesthetic. She combines furniture and elements of basic decor – beds, mattresses, cushions, armchairs, lamps, wall coverings -, that she works in natural materials – wood, cotton, rope – and manipulates in a DIY manner or rearranges, far from design, she favours the hand-made. Objects calling for comfort or sometimes for an ironic discomfort, but always remaining soft, bright, propose to the audience a form of relaxation and availability. As said by Matranga herself: “What interests me, is how to place myself physically in a place, but also how to place myself in life in regard to others, how to define one’s self in relation to others”.
For the CEC and the presentation of her two films, Jour&Nuit and You, Mélanie Matranga has planned to set up a cabin consisting of large white sheet panels, separating the projection from the rest of the exhibition space and from light, thus offering a protected space conducive to viewing these intimate works, and inviting us simultaneously to introspection and to our relationship to alterity.