Marine Hugonnier

Modele (a Revision) n.39 Blue, 2013

Blue silk printed Rives Paper and Collage

236 x 150 cm


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Artwork
Description

Modeles (a Revision) is the title given to a group of works by Hugonnier, designed in conjunction with her series of newspaper collages. Their vivid palette, for instance, is precisely the same as that used for the bright cut-outs of overlaid paper with which the artist obscures all the journalistic photographs in her body of work Art for a Modern Architecture. Unlike those miniature patches, however, the Modeles are monumental in scale. Composed of two, heavy layers of silk-printed Rives paper, they stretch-out in all dimensions: a meter in length, two meters and a half in height, even bulging outwards to create a considerable depth.  The result of this combined brightness and vastness is a somewhat abrasive quality: the Modeles seem to impose upon their environment, and they shape the viewing experience into one of mutual confrontation.

While this alarming bulk renders the Modeles atmospherically distinct from the smaller, subtler newspaper collages, it also serves to construct a thematic link between the two series. For it is owing to their indefatigability that the Modeles seem almost architectural; and it is owing to this architectural air that the Modeles exude the same principle as the Art for a Modern Architecture series: the utilitarian principle that art should serve some kind of structural function, whether that be the physical structures which surround us, or the social structures—like newspapers—which frame our everyday life.

Given the importance of structural function here, it is unsurprising that Hugonnier has chosen to work with the iconic palette of Le Corbusier’s notoriously functional architecture. In this work, she chooses the modernist architect’s deep blue tone. Darker than the rest of the Model series, it has a sombre intensity which demands sustained attention.

About
the artist

Marine Hugonnier was born in Paris in 1969. She studied philosophy and anthropology, before gaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, in 2000. She now lives and works in London.

Hugonnier’s works have been widely exhibited over the past fifteen years, including in shows at The Museum of Contemporary Arts, Seoul; The BALTIC Centre, Newcastle; Zabludowicz Collection, London. Hugonnier is also included in the collections of The Louvre, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.

Hugonnier has worked in many different media—film, photography, collage, books and performance—but she has consistently engaged with the politics of representation. For instance, her works frequently acknowledge the fact that the viewer’s perception will be determined by their particular angle of observation; and they often employ this unavoidable aspect of the viewing experience as a metaphor for the inevitability of interpretational bias. In doing so, Hugonnier’s art not only deconstructs how and what we perceive visually; it also illuminates the viewer’s tendency to accommodate their predilections, circumscribing how and what they perceive analytically.

Never more is this the case than in Hugonnier’s ongoing series, Art for Modern Architecture (2004 – present), in which she takes the front page of various newspapers and obscures their images with patches of bright colour. This erasure technique works (alongside the general flatness of Hugonnier’s collage mode, which dictates a frontal approach) to enforce extreme restrictions upon our visual perception. These restrictions are then echoed in—and contribute towards—the viewer’s necessarily limited interpretation: we can only understand these collages according to our individual and necessarily biased memory or invented notion of the obscured images.

Hugonnier’s work revisits modernist tropes, often casting a disbelieving shadow upon their utopian aims to revolutionise the politics of power. For while her work shows that art can function in a social/political sphere to make people ‘think for themselves’, it also suggests that such a process might be considered a kind of propaganda in itself: one which enforces its own strict boundaries upon the viewer.


Hugonnier’s works have been widely exhibited over the past fifteen years, including in shows at The Museum of Contemporary Arts, Seoul; The BALTIC Centre, Newcastle; Zabludowicz Collection, London. Hugonnier is also included in the collections of The Louvre, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.

Hugonnier’s work revisits modernist tropes, often casting a disbelieving shadow upon their utopian aims to revolutionise the politics of power. For while her work shows that art can function in a social/political sphere to make people ‘think for themselves’, it also suggests that such a process might be considered a kind of propaganda in itself: one which enforces its own strict boundaries upon the viewer.


Marine Hugonnier
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition

September 26th, 2017 until
January 10th, 2018
Curated by ARTUNER