GlogauAIR resident from July 2019 to September 2019
I’ve always been telling stories. This habit comes from a family tradition. My ancestors liked to make children believe in the extraordinary. Born in the Netherlands in 1981, I grew up in the French countryside from the age of 10. My family education stayed in Dutch, my mother tongue, whilst my intellectual learning would be in French.
My work as a visual storytelling artist circles around the central themes of false appearances, the house and the sensation of constraint, childhood wonder and fears. Often articulated around the use of video my works flourishes in many other mediums like sculpture, drawing or photography reunited in architectural installation. My work questions in particular the process of a narrative construction that emerges from playful and fictionalized associations of memories and family anecdotes. The intimate and banal statue of these stories is overruled through the staging and the physical and emotional impact procured by the installation. The action is redeployed to an environment with a spectacular scale, required for the uncanny and marvelous. I transmit my stories and play out their effective tensions within the exhibition space.
I’m interested in architecture and interior spaces that have a theatrical aspect, or that show a sense of accumulation and excess. Throughout the last couple of years I’ve been interested in recreational architecture: pavilions, follies, grottos, kiosks, and seaside second houses… These constructions are discharged of the representation function and the seriousness of the permanent house. They have the particularity off showing the more fanciful aspect of the architect and the owner’s mind. Here the confusion and strangeness off shapes, colors and textures and the unlimited use of artifice are accepted. Like Les Esseintes’s house in Huysmans’s A Rebours novel, these constructions allow to forget everyday life routine and own a space that’s at the same time a home and an elsewhere.
Extra Ape focuses around three elements from the Chinese Pavillon of the Sanssouci park: the golden roof figure, the wise, musical monkeys, and the ornamental statues. A golden figure dressed in a kimono is sitting cross-legged under an oriental umbrella on the Chinese pavilion’s roof. He’s watching over the park, ruling over the pavilion like sitting on a throne. With his long beard and his imposing statue he could be a representation inspired by Confucius. One of Confucius’ learnings says: “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety”. This saying is often symbolized in the shape of the three wise monkeys. The Chinese pavilion shows numerous musical monkeys in its frescos and door decorations, following the XVIII century’s singerie trend. These playful and silly monkeys can be seen like funny satires of human vanity. And finally the real life size ornamental statues’ striking presence caught my attention. On the contrary of caryatids these sculptures aren’t integrated in the architectural supporting structure, as if they use the building like a pedestal.
Marie Hendriks was born in 1981 in the Netherlands. She studied at the Fine arts school of Bourges and later gained a film post degree at Studio Le Fresnoy. She held solo exhibition at Musée Sandelin Saint Omer (2016), le château des Adhémar, Montélimar (2013); La Maison rouge, Paris (2010). She participated in collective exhibitions and projections at CAN Neuchatel, MACRO Rome, the Fine art Museum in Calais, Fes- tival du documentaire Bruxelles, Festival Banditmages Bourges.
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