Les parcelles rompues d’un bois

Amalia Laurent
22.09.23 → 22.09.24

Hall of the Maison internationale (Cité internationale universitaire de Paris)
Hall of the Maison internationale (Cité internationale universitaire de Paris)
The Cité internationale universitaire de Paris is organizing a series of events dedicated to trees, a living heritage that makes up the richness of its landscaped park. Boasting 3,000 trees and over 400 plant species, it covers almost a third of the Cité internationale’s surface area. Ecologically managed since 2009 to enhance its biodiversity, the park is vital for numerous animal species and for all its users, who benefit from a tree-lined environment whose benefits are decisive in an urban environment.

In the context of the “Benefits of Trees” weekend, Amalia Laurent presents her artworks. Her work encompasses topographical, geographical, and cartographic themes that are both real and imagined. Her obsession with alternative realities has resulted in a body of work—installations, performances, sculptures, dyes—that renders tangible the boundaries between the real world and parallel universes. Textile art and printing techniques prevail in her work, integrating the richness of Franco-Indonesian culture. Batik, an Indonesian fabric printing technique, is a leitmotif in her creations. The artist Mas Tatang, a master of Batik in Tembi, Indonesia, imparted the philosophy and craftsmanship of Batik to her. She comprehends the ancient technique of Batik in its contemporary essence, viewing it as a projection of a territory, a map composed of decipherable signs, or a medium for dialogue between history and stories. From this projection of territory arises a genuine dialogue in situ with the place housing the dyed fabric. The materiality of the fabric she uses, called tarlatan, is characterized by its transparency, which reveals the surrounding environment, and its complex materiality that becomes visible when light passes through it, displaying its mesh, seams, folds, and density. These dyes act as veils covering the surface of a space.

The question of the veil is central to her artistic reflections and research. Georges Didi-Huberman, in “Images malgré tout,” considers the veil as already possessing its tear; the fabric contains both what it conceals and what it reveals. It’s a filter that hints while allowing to see. Through it, we have the ability to discern the porosity of a space, to reveal the layers that lie within it. This filter opens and pierces the material, enhancing its function. However, the veil is merely a strategy for viewing a place at a certain moment because a space is never neutral.

“Amalia Laurent proposes to unveil the dreamed place, the one hiding behind the visible. She thus places the visitor in a state of waking reverie, and the decor, contorted from years of service, withdraws in the face of the sylvan paintings that the gaze encounters. It is therefore about creating a fleeting interval, revealing the fragility of space as we experience it: always inscribed in a time that the artist enjoys suspending here. The work positions itself on the edge of the imagination it evokes: one envisions the artist working on her batiks following the Javanese tradition amidst the trees that inspired her motifs; but also, from a more unsettling perspective, that of finding nothing but a desert beyond the slightly ajar windows […]. In other words, being confronted with the risk of seeing nothing other than what is perceived by our senses.” - Rémi Guezodje

{Saturday, September 24 to Sunday, October 23, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hall of the Maison internationale Free admission}

{Cité internationale universitaire de Paris}