MODULI,UND SO WEITER, USW,
Opening May the 4th, 18h – 21h
May 4th – June 8th 2013
In order to grasp new elements that have come to compose a body of work and make it more dense and yet refined at the same time, it is sometimes necessary to backtrack in order to better apprehend the layered thicknesses that make the whole.
Such an exercise is suggested in the work itself, since Moduli reads like a logical continuation for the artist; particularly because she has subtly orchestrated prospective/retrospective movements. Moduli makes bold statements and allows things to transpire: its specificity reveals itself through a playful vis-à-vis with all the work that Magali Lefebvre has deployed since she distinguished herself through her photographic practice. Indeed she has since learnt to draw on the straightforward and strict properties imposed by the medium and its specificities, in order to explore other symbolic spaces: freeing herself as much as possible from literalness and contingencies, to then transgress any usual iconic principles.
In the last few years, Magali Lefebvre has made various volumes and installations and one of her specificities is the way she relates them and creates a dialogue with representational elements (traced drawings, plans, photographs), sometimes to better transgress their effects. En route, she still toys as much with the registers of objectivisation and abstraction. As such, Lefebvre weaves physical and semantic tensions which are the core of the underlying balance between plan and volume in Moduli.
For her first solo exhibition at the galerie Dohyang Lee, the artist first of all presents a series of 12 black and white silver gelatin prints, with geometric motifs that ostensibly evoke 3D digital modelling. Her formal language borrows stylistically from Bauhaus or Russian Constructivism, Oskar Schlemmer or the Sternberg Brothers (which she herself states as legitimate references).
These photographs are placed on the same level and displayed on small bases that provoke reflections on the glazing of the frames: small cones, spheres, cubes and other forms thus project the spectre of a double on the surface of an original image which is placed opposite. The effect of repetition reinforces the blur between model and copy which is already suggested in the biased use of techniques and their mode of representation. Moreover, it is important to note that, the represented forms result from plaster objets which have actually been made and are shown in the same gallery space, thus revealing the process of fabrication of Moduli and its accompanying illusion.
On another level, the exhibition is composed of drawings with flat areas in primary watercolour which pick up on the plaster works. With open or deconstructed planes, with perspectives and free assemblages, a certain formal realism bursts out and opens representational potentials which are made possible by drawing.
Like a new chapter, Moduli manifests the research that blends the formal finesse and conceptual discretion at work in Magali Lefebvre’s practice.
In this accompanying text, we tentatively risk some interpretations: firstly, since the spectator is at the centre of the work, Moduli, despite appearances, contradicts the modernist conception of a shared realism. In fact, the notion of autonomy of the artwork as existing objectively and universally is contradicted by a system of perception and interpretation which is intrinsic to Magali Lefebvre’s work. By a subtle play on contrasts which is not limited to the fetishisation of a modernist aesthetic and principles, Magali Lefebvre always eludes formal givens, on different planes.