Even if there are different and contradittory positions around the methodology of the understandment of the excavations findings, all archeologists agree that the nature of the informations extracted from the remainings depends on their state of preservation and that, in any case, the act of reading it could never be neutral, neither objective. This happen because “we add new strata of information and interpretation to object themselves characterised by considerable stratification of meaning over time” (L.Olivier).
In this perspective, Edmee Laurin’s works have the same complex stratifications as archeological finds : a big vase that resemble in shape the Chinese “ding”, vessels realized by industrial molds from a local factory disbanded in the 90s, stones made out of clay carved with words that reenacte in style the epigraph on the walls of the Italian capital during the Roman empire. All her pieces are deeply linked with the recent and antique past, both in form and matter, but at the same time, they are inseparable from our present. Through this paradox, the artist encourage us to rethink our notion of time and to read her pieces as if they were archeological finds.
What kind of informations can we deduce from them? Where do they belong? If the viewers are brave enough to sharpen their sight, get closer and analyze the find, there is nothing left for them but surprise: little breast coming out of a rock made out of clay, legs popping out of a vessel and cold, rigid, hard feeling stone is imprinted in a soft piece of clay. The juxtaposition of human body and natural elements and the apparent shifting of the materiality of clay creates mysterious post-human chimeras foundings that seem to be coming from a distopian, parallel reality.
The concept of “shifting” then, doesn’t just refer to the versatily polisemantism of the use of clay as material, but also to the capacity of the artist through the creative act to shape our wildest fantasies.
In the world created by Edmee Laurin, clay is an autonomous living material, able to breath, drink water, transform itself in fire and, as it moves from its reality to ours, it shows its true self in the exhibiton space.
Raimonda da Ros
From the composite materials that Edmée Laurin uses in her artistic practice one would expect them to be without nuances, straight to the point. Their polyester, acrylic, pre-formed plastic hardness should be instantly revealed to those who look at them.
However, it is the work of an alchemist that is set before us, as she transforms flexible matters into hard ones and vice versa, reversing the first properties of resins : from the surfaces emerge foam, slime, they become liquidy and viscous.
Even though the body is only shown by fragments or delicate evocations, it sweats from all of her productions : it is the breast coming out of a cast of what seems to be a pre shaped carton packaging for round fruits, the immaculate glaze drops exuding from a dark ceramic, a foam mattress that she stratifies with resin.
The marvelous plays with the monstrous, the perl miraculously born can easily be mistaken for the cyst whose growth can not be stopped.
Look out for the flood because we won’t see it coming.
“When we think about composite materials they automatically remind us of the field of industry, with their cold, utilitarian and preformed aspect and shapes. When I work with those materials, I wear a protection suit, a breathing mask, gloves and glasses : direct contacts to the body are not allowed. However, I am looking for some material evolutions of states, to freeze some movements and organic textures in the purpose of evoking the body where its presence would not be expected. I am interested in the act of print, in the necessity to duplicate a form by casting it : my works talk simultaneously about plasticity and skin, fossil and flexibility. I am operating some transfers and magnifications: a cat on a pillow is as
big as a lying human body, breasts duplicate themselves as in the Artemia of Ephese, ceramic drops invade the wall. By their uncertain appearance and their mysterious identities I create for them an alternate reality, without denying each work’s unicity : They are like fragments of ambivalent bodies, between erotism, life and death.”
Text from and remarks in conversation with Camille Paulhan
(published in Felicità 17, catalog, Beaux-arts de Paris éditions)