Chloe Piene

9 April - 14 May 2005 Cloître Saint-Merri I & II - Paris

Galerie Nathalie Obadia is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in a European gallery of Chloe Piene, American artist born in 1972.
In 2004, the Kunsthalle of Bern devoted an important exhibition to her, showing all her videos and drawings. Her participation in the Whitney Biennial, the same year, was very noticed.
The work of Chloe Piene, videos and drawings, is entirely devoted to the human body: its movement in space, its positioning in situations, its distortions...
The videos "Little David", "You 're gonna be my woman", "Woods", "Self Portrait" film the bodies of men, women, children or the artist herself. These bodies express a primitive, animal, sometimes violent gesture, staged in a very bare, even absent, setting.
The drawings, the most important part of the exhibition, are composed of bodies evolving alone, on a large white sheet where the emptiness gives way to a feeling of levitation.
In the drawings of the series "Crest", "Armless", "Headless", "Ghost Arms", Chloe Piene draws her inspiration from medieval mythology, chivalry where there is a tiny place between the heroic, historical event experienced by Man and the intimate life of the individual. In these drawings, Chloe Piene seeks to focus the attention of the eye on a detail of the body, a hand, a foot, a head, she stops at the moment when the Being in his body becomes an individual with his self. This moment transpires in the line of the drawing and gives all this tension of extreme deprivation.
In the drawings of the series "Hanging", linked to the presentation of the video "Self Portrait 2002", they are self-portraits of the artist, tied up and placed in a closed space. There is in Chloe Piene, a will to dramatize the scene, to feel this moment of extreme intensity which freezes the body at a precise and fleeting moment. As in the video "Self Portrait", there is the research of the "Climax", of the most dramatic moment, the most intense, the ecstatic moment where the emotion is frozen. It is this moment that symbolizes the scene.
This search for paroxysm is particularly visible in the video "Self Portrait 2002" where we see the bodies of young men dancing feverishly until they lose control and consciousness, then the female body (the artist) throws herself into the group of dancers and is carried at arm's length. This moment of extreme suspension gives a christic vision of the scene, we find this intensity in the drawings where the line stops at the most dramatic moment.

Chloe Piene will present a new video and a set of drawings at the Printemps de Toulouse in September 2005. She will also be present at the Museum of Saint Etienne in the exhibition "Cabine de dessins" in September 2005.