10B Wensum St
Norwich NR3 1HR
Golden Memories (Tarpaulin), 2015
For her first solo show in Norwich Golden Memories, Isabelle Cornaro will present a large scale installation filling the whole space of OUTPOST Gallery. As if stolen from a crime scene, maculated industrial plastic sheets and coloured dust are the components of this very new work, which is inspired by her previous series of wall spray paintings Reproductions.
Alice Lee talks to Isabelle Cornaro at her studio in Paris on Wednesday 27th May
AL: In reference to your exhibits you often talk about ‘organising’ and ‘designing’ a space and, in the texts from your shows at The White Cube and LA<>Art I’d read they state that there is ‘an interplay between formal and conceptual modes of display’. Do you see the space as a kind of object?
IC: Yes I do. I see it both as an object and as a context; to look at the work, especially for the series of installations ‘Paysage avec poussin et témoins oculaires’ (at South London Gallery). For the kind of installation we are going to do at OUTPOST it will be more like an object indeed yes.
AL: I’ve seen that your current work has running themes of landscape and perspective. What has influenced this?
IC: So both because I have this little art history training but mainly because my first practice was drawing so by making a large installation, with pedestals and standing walls/works, it’s about drawing in the space, to use it as a blank sheet of paper in which things are composed.
AL: You tend to create relationships between objects in space to produce narratives which is often synonymous with the role of a curator particularly in regard to your process of arrangements and editing in your films. What are your thoughts about this?
IC: Well I think it’s a different kind of selecting process than a curatorial one because both objects in the installations and images in the films are chosen for their historic charge or meaning there but they also are really patterns or shapes to organise together as an artwork layered by multiple details and aesthetics.
AL: You work in a variety of mediums, how do you decide which one is appropriate or which to explore at any particular time?
IC: In the beginning I started with drawing and finally installation was an extension of drawing inside the space. Filming has always been a sort of parallel practice to the installation and the sculpture, organically linked to them. For instance they always are the same kind of objects and compositions inside the installation and inside the films. I try to think what kind of work translated in another medium could somehow clarify the meaning of the previous work I did. The wall spray paintings titled ‘Reproductions’ are very different from the large installations ‘Paysages avec poussin et témoins oculaires’, but they also built a discourse on the image, on the notions of composing and representing, on site or non-site specificity. I also think that each medium has its own significance and for me it’s important to deal with these multiple significances as a possibility to extend, transform and layer the aesthetic and the discourse of the works.
AL: Do you have a favourite?
IC: Film is the medium in which I feel the most comfortable somehow.
AL: What do you hope to explore with this work at OUTPOST?
IC: I would like to try to work on the decomposition of the image and on the exhibition space as a sculptural object. I would like to do something that is about inform, shapeless and entropy – which is something I already experimented in my last films ‘Amplifications’ and ‘Choses’ but never really did with installations.
Post Installation. OUTPOST Gallery, Norwich. Wednesday 1st July.
AL: For me it has been very interesting to watch this work be fully constructed and then gradually deconstructed to produce the final outcome. There is a lot of focus on the extraneous material, the paint dust and protective plastic. Why is this so appealing to you?
IC: I wanted to focus on the elements that are supposed to be shapeless and that usually are the rejects of the work.
AL: When we spoke in Paris, you mentioned that it was important to deal with the significance of different elements in a site-specific work, for example site architecture and painting. This installation at OUTPOST certainly presented you a conundrum to resolve! Could you describe your thought process?
IC: It was indeed! What is the most interesting is to try to create a direct and complex meaning at the same time, with very simple elements.
AL: Is it similar to anything you’ve done before?
IC: It is similar to some gestures I used in previous films, such as organizing an abstract narrative with left over rushes; in both cases, there is a subjectivity that is constructed out of randomness that interests me.
AL: Do you think you have achieved the ‘inform, shapeless and entropy, you have previously experimented with in film, with this installation?
IC: don’t know yet..
AL: Have you enjoyed using the OUTPOST space as an object to manipulate?
IC: Yes very much, its scale fully allowed it.