Gaëlle Chotard’s work revolves around the use of crocheted, pierced metal threads, her quest for the right balance between control and letting-go, the boundary between structure and chance, in order to draw a landscape in volume echoing a mental projection.

For this monographic exhibition, like a tightrope walker, she has focused on the crest line spanning the area of the gallery. She places the viewer on the edge of uneasy contemplation, caught up in the active value of the void. It’s like being at the edge of a cliff, facing immensity yet within a hair’s breadth of a precipice; experiencing something that goes beyond you; a space that stretches out from a point and makes you lose your bearings. It is not only a matter of accidents, of the “flying whites”* created by the weaves and gaps within her scratched drawings, but also of the rhythm and silence of “diverted”, mute piano strings.
Gaëlle Chotard is inspired by books about astrophysics and cosmology, whose titles confirm her intuitions: in this case, Stephen Hawking’s string and black hole theories, that demonstrate that time is warped by trajectories. This is what is at play and given to experience in “Fixer des vertiges”. Through this title, the artist has chosen to reinterpret Rimbaud’s Alchemy of the Word, from A Season in Hell. “It was academic at first. I wrote of silences, nights, I expressed the inexpressible. I defined vertigos.”

* “Flying White”, a translation of the Chinese “Fei Bai”, is a technique through which the material substance of the brush stroke and the substance of sound are lightened, thinned down. In calligraphy, for instance, the brush stroke is deliberately traced with an insufficient amount of ink, so that on paper, the ink seems ripped with “whites”, revealing the inner dynamics of the stroke, and conveying to the viewer the unutterable existence of something that goes beyond the painting.

Valentine Meyer, September 2014

Gaëlle Chotard – born in 1973 in Montpellier, lives and works in Paris. After graduating from the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 1998, she took part in several group shows (Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la dentelle, Alençon; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tours; Crac Alsace; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico) and her pieces were acquired by public collections (FRAC Haute-Normandie, Fonds national d’Art contemporain). More recently, she produced “in situ” pieces at the Château de Rambouillet and at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris for the “Dans la ligne de mire” exhibition. “Fixer des vertiges” is her third solo show at the Claudine Papillon gallery. On 21-22-23 November, she will be the guest of Christian Aubert’s “Moments Artistiques” – 41 rue de Turenne, Paris 75003.