Rien ne sera plus jamais comme après...
The Galerie Mitterrand is delighted to host the latest exhibition by Franco-German artist, Gloria Friedmann, Rien ne sera plus jamais comme après ... [Nothing Will Ever Be As It Was After ...]. Building on the body of work she has developed over the past 30 years, the recent pieces brought together for this occasion question the metamorphosis of Man's relationship to animals today.
Since the 1980s, references to the animal world have been a specificity of Gloria Friedmann's work. The artist uses stuffed animals or bones, as well as domestic animals (caged canaries or rabbits) and farm animals (oxen, cows, horses) in her installations that resemble "living paintings". In the work entitled, Réserve naturelle (1994), a stuffed stag faces a pile of broken down refrigerators. This installation questions the successive metamorphoses of animal life from living species to scientific curiosity (via taxidermy) to ready-made (a cultural product). In her "still lifes" or vanitas, Friedmann draws attention to ecological issues such as our endangered eco-system and the fragility of living things. A sense of foreboding emanates from these installations in which animal "remains" appear to be imprisoned in manmade environments. At the crossover of metaphysical thought and futuristic visions, Friedmann draws on the symbolic meaning of the elements she stages to create dichotomies (between nature and culture, biology and technology, the Living and the Dead) that question the evolution of humanity, with its inherent doubts and deviations.
The Rien ne sera plus jamais comme après... exhibition exists within a unique context in which the nature of the relationship between Man and animals is placed at the heart of political debates (making reference to the recent recognition of animals as "sentient beings"). In the first room of the exhibition, a new sculpture from the ProteinSpecies series, begun in 2013, is presented. This resin and plaster sculpture represents a hybrid form combining a human face with an ostrich body. This enigmatic sculpture is surrounded by several dreamlike landscapes from the new Eden series. Using reversed glass painting technique, Friedmann has created works that focus on the light and infinite nature of natural, uninhabited spaces. The second room of the exhibition contains several drawings made using charcoal and acrylic on canvas (LSD series). Between Natural and Supernatural, human and animal figures, these drawings represent fantasy scenes perhaps inspired by fables, fairytales, or hallucinations. Finally, three sculptures from the Everyday Robots series have been installed outside the gallery. These white sculptures represent human cephalopods: beings whose pro-eminent heads are directly attached to their legs, thus reducing them to their faculties of thinking and moving through space.
Gloria Friedmann was born in Kronach (Germany), and lives and works in Aignay-le-Duc (France). In addition to a large number of solo exhibitions in French institutions including La Fondation Maeght (2013), the Musée Bourdelle (2008), the Musée de Saint-Etienne (2004) and the Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Pompidou (1995), her works have been featured at important international events such as documenta 8 in Kassel (1987), the Lyon Biennale (2000), and Force de l'Art at the Grand Palais (2002). They are part of numerous public collections, both in France and abroad.