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Raphaëlle PERIA Marinus Asiaticus 2 – 27 September, 2017 Opening on 2 September, 12 pm – 10 pm The Galerie Papillon presents Marinus Asiaticus, the first solo exhibition by Raphaëlle Peria. The gestation of this exhibition began when the artist encountered Robert Harrison’s book Forests. An annotation found in its first pages struck her: “Incandescence of the trees. Fire of memory”. Page 94, however, is where the lines at the origin of this exhibition can be found. Following this literary encounter, Raphaëlle Peria went to Turkey in 2015 to continue her research, more precisely in the heart of Ephesus. Each year, the ancient site welcomes thousands of people eager to see the temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world. Firing Since her beginnings, Raphaëlle Peria has perceived the world by sticking her eye to the viewfinder of cameras. Thanks to these tools, she can reach her core preoccupation: nature for itself, nature in itself. She then reworks the visual memories that she manufactures, generally after having forgotten everything, intentionally impoverishing her memory. Using the hardness of a gouge, the softness of a rotary file or the precision of a scalpel, the artist carves a new image. The one that has remained in her memory. The one that she will allow the rest of the world to see. This physical work is not a correction exercise. It is a revelation process based on loss. She scrapes, imprints, and marks, her practice sometimes even bordering on painting. “As the hills could no longer retain water, the runoff rushed down into the valley. With the plowing of the land, soil erosion was exacerbated and led to a severe buildup of silt in the great harbor of Ephesus…” Obliteration becomes a true opportunity, allowing the artist to express the lack which affects everything that lives in our memory. In this covering game, where loss becomes a pretext for disclosure, Raphaëlle Peria creates a new image. She questions as much as she clarifies. Withdrawal gives memories volume. The zones left intact, the purity of the light, the sky, the partial and deliberate obliteration of the composition are visual evidence of the artist’s psyche. In her work, everything is dual: the brittleness of the material and the brutality of the tools; archaeology and photography; reality and an imaginary city. The degradation of the site gives way to radiance, as a graphic, almost pictorial abstraction. “…so severe in fact that the city was eventually forced to relocate itself farther along the coast. At least four times the city’s harbor silted up in this fashion.” Incandescent beings Like an archaeologist, Raphaëlle Peria casts an eye on the world and creates remembrance out of what cannot be seen anymore. She opens her eyes. Viewers are free to cast the same eye on her works. They are plunged in a contemplative experiment. To experience it, they need to truly look, listen, get closer. Reinventing fragments of thought, loss, in Marinus Asiaticus, goes through us like a world being built anew. Powerful and generous, although they are remnants of the passage of individuals, ruins can be seen at the heart of the exhibition. What emerges from the brutality of obliteration is a sensory, peaceful landscape that doesn’t make a single noise, except for the one we agree to project in it. This space is to remain eternally empty. Nature is pure; beings are destructive. This praise of landscape transports the viewer in timelessness. Where nature appears. Where it tries to reclaim what is rightfully hers. But, unmistakably, the presence of human beings can be felt in the pictures. This is only an aside within the appropriation of reality we create for ourselves. Julie Noël, July 2017 Raphaëlle PERIA – born 1989, lives and works in Paris. Graduated from the École européenne supérieure d’Art de Bretagne in 2014. Selected for the Révélations Emerige Award 2015. Took part in the exhibition “Empiristes”, curated by Gaël Charbau. Winner of the 8th edition of the Sciences-Po Award for Contemporary Art in 2017. Represented by the Galerie Papillon since 2016. “Marinus Asiaticus” is her first personal exhibition.