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Indepth Arts News:

"Lili Dujourie"
2008-06-04 until 2008-09-14
Erna Hecey Gallery at le Creux de l’enfer, Centre d'art contemporain
Thiers, , FR France

Erna Hecey Gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibition by Lili Dujourie at le Creux de l’enfer, Thiers, France. The exhibition brings together two series of works: a series of extremely fine portraits made in steel wire, and a recent series of works in baked clay. With her recent series of works in baked clay Dujourie focuses on sensuality and material immediacy. The work consists of a series of ceramic sculptures of subtle undulating forms placed on tables and shelves. Each sculpture is unique, though they share a similar appearance; the pieces on the shelves have a dark gray glaze, while those on the tables have different finishes, natural, glazed, and oven-baked.

The artist’s use of clay for the first time signals her interest in rethinking the question of sculpture today, after minimalism, formalism and abstraction: clay is a kind of return to the essence of things, the primal ‘stuff’ of creation, a fresh opening or beginning. Expressionistic and organic, this series moves between the figurative and the abstract, suggesting the possibility of various objects, creatures or forms while remaining imaginatively pliable. Sculpture is here taken up anew as a passionate, hands-on process—sensible and conceptual.

Titles as Memories of Hands evoke the idea of might be called ‘haptic’ intelligence (from the Greek hapto, to touch), in which thoughts and impressions belong not so much to the mind as the hands, a manual memory. In this sense, the work may be seen as an objectification of a lived process, the material trace of a corporal event: it’s the body that knows and remembers, the hands that shape from out of their layered history. Dujourie’s notion of manual memory recalls sociologist Marcel Mauss’s study of the ‘techniques du corps’ (bodily techniques), skills and gestures that are the sedimentation of a cultural tradition, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s concept of the lived body or ‘flesh of the world’. Memories of Hands stands for a non-theoretical knowledge, an embodied style of thinking, vital impressions of past experience that belong to one’s flesh and blood.

Lili Dujourie is a highly esteemed Belgian artist. For over three decades she has charted an independent path in a variety of media, including sculpture, video, photography, and slide projection. Her work is known for its depth and poetic beauty.

Dujourie recently participated in the group show Ellipsis, with Chantal Akerman and Francesca Woodman, curated by Lynne Cooke, which debuted at the Tamayo Museum, Mexico City in October 2007, and was travelling to the Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden (February-April 2008) and the DCA, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland (April-June 2008). In 2007 she featured at Documenta 12 and in WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution at MOCA in Los Angeles, which travelled to P.S.1 in New York (Spring 2008). Lili Dujourie’s recent exhibition at Erna Hecey Gallery Brussels in September 2007 will be entirely included in the upcoming Gwangju Biennial.

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