Beeld 1 / 2 'Tentacle Pentacle', 2015, neoprene, EPDM pool-liner, acrylic
Her narratives spread across a variety of media – paintings, movies, photographs, songs, performances, collages and installations – Pauline Curnier Jardin conveys a generous, non-systematic vision of continuity between human and non-human bodies. In a broader sense, her work confronts the logic that divides rationality and emotion, the sacred and profane, ally and enemy, masculine and feminine, showing instead how each of these qualities is capable of interacting and combining.
In Resurrection Plot, an installation consisting of the scenery, video and some paintings from the eponymous theatrical performance that was commissioned by the biennial Performa 15, Curnier Jardin unravels Renaissance reality. She transforms it into a universe of excess where science and magic constantly struggle, the female body becomes a reproductive machine, magicians and sailors discover that the earth is round, peasants and natives lose their lands and lives while grottos sing polymorphic songs.
In contrast to the current obsession with dystopia and 'the end of the world', Curnier Jardin presents the earth as magical matter giving birth to a world of stones, snails, cicadas, magic electric mountains and shells.
Beeld 1 / 4 'Blutbad Parade', 2014, video, sound, 37 min.
"My work has this cosmological tendency: I always think about a universe. First I explore existing phenomena, be they material or immaterial, such as sentiments (loneliness or grief and joy) historical or mythological characters (Jeanne of Arc, St-Bernadette of Lourdes, Demeter the goddess of Earth), places (the nuclear plant, the circus, the battleground, the suburbs) or objects (the cave, the flint). Then I tell their stories, I invent for them entire histories that aim at the explication of their fundamental significance (the human, language, love, death…) through symbolical or allegorical sequences. Each of these narratives spreads over different media, paintings, movies and photographs, songs and performances, collages and installations. By blending the sound and meaning of distinct words and mixing disparate ideas, characters, and environments, my work looks for serving as a receptacle for new kinds of speech, new ways of using language, and new kinds of meaning. The expansive “portmanteau” approach opens up possibilities for an alternative realm in which speaking is a fundamental fact about rocks and plants, animals and things, and where otherwise marginalized human voices, ethnicities, and desires have."