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3 June 2014

Ilit Azoulay at the Rencontres d’Arles 2014

History deposits its sediments on walls like paint on canvas. Functioning as a support and a facade, walls define a place by marking its boundaries, registering what has been accumulated in the spaces they circumscribe. The creation of Azoulay’s large panoramas is preceded by a prolonged process of wandering through urban construction and demolition sites. Visiting these sites, she scrutinizes the old walls and collects textured fragments and objects found within them: metal scraps, plastic bags, glass shards, even seashells and old rotten apples. These scattered remnants of history are meticulously photographed and digitally remodelled in preparation for an eventual composition. Each site’s eccentric archive thus presents itself, inevitably displaying its past while simultaneously staging itself anew. Appearing at once both realistic and fictitious, Azoulay’s artificial venues function somewhat like cabinets of curiosities, raising questions about the mechanism of sight and the conditions of perception. By exploring the discrepancies that undermine the very construction of a narrative, her works highlight impossible juxtapositions and inevitable blind spots, while constantly hinting at the ways in which memory both surfaces and is effaced in the public sphere.

Shiraz Grinbaum

Artist presented by Quentin Bajac for the Discovery Award of the Rencontres d’Arles.

Exhibition venue : Atelier de Chaudronnerie, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2014.