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Sabrina Vitali 

À travers les paupières closes / Through closes eyes
May 24 - July 18 2024
Opening for Paris Gallery Weekend - 10 years ! 

Opening on Friday May, 24 

Unfold the blurred image of continuity, hold your breath, plunge into its depths.

À travers les paupières closes is an exhibition conceived as an inner exploration, revealing the depths of a great hybrid body on the verge of transformation.
The pieces that make up the exhibition reveal the alchemy of a living world steeped in tensions of scale and time, where mineral and vegetable, organic and cosmic, intermingle. They are composed of several superimposed layers of glass, covered in wax, mud, paint and metal, forming constellations of veins, plants, stars and cells.
All these elements are still distinct but connected, as if suspended in the transparency of the conductive liquid disturbed by their presence. We are at the tipping point, the moment before metamorphosis, the chaotic moment needed to organize a new balance of forces within this chimera.
Our gaze traverses the thickness of its composite flesh made of translucent sheets, seeded with organisms whose degradation nourishes germination. A macrocosm in the making unfolds before our eyes in cosmic-organic companionship. We journey into a universe that is both organic and celestial, observed from the inside as if through the telescope, revealing its secret mechanisms.
The energy produced by this thick primordial fertile soup, made up of heterogeneous components that collide, intertwine and devour each other, is the necessary condition for the possible emergence of a new form of continuity.
Incorporation is at work. A great composting where life and death coexist in interdependence. Sabrina Vitali

À travers les paupières closes / Through closes eyes

Between February 1915 and November 1918, the great socialist theorist and revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg was imprisoned successively in Barnimstrasse Prison (present-day Germany), Wronke Fortress and then Breslau (present-day Poland) for her anti-war activities. There, she created a herbarium with the flowers sent by her friends and those gathered from the prison yard. This herbarium is an illustration of the activist’s life force. Despite her imprisonment and the tyranny of power and conflict, she never stopped paying attention to even the most minor plant, birdsong or cloud formation and never stopped being amazed by it.

Sabrina Vitali's new exhibition at Galerie Papillon owes much to Rosa Luxemburg's eminently political and sensitive herbarium. "It has accompanied the production of my works with its evident presence, like a strong partner, a reminder of what the ephemeral can do," she confides. To reconstruct the magnitude of the world in a notebook, enclosed within four walls, marks the artist's relationship with the interior - of body, mind or matter - and the exterior, which is as microscopic as it is cosmic. Like Rosa, Sabrina collects roses given to her by friends and family, flowers she grows on her windowsill, or the wildplants gathered from around her studio in Maisons-Alfort which is located between Paris, the Bois de Vincennes and the Marne. "The city, the highway, the river and the woods are all entangled, porous, and interpenetrating spaces," she remarks. À travers les paupières closes is an adventure in the perception of the world "through the flesh of a body which is not enough, which has to be passed through, that must also be considered as entangled, porous and interpenetrated". Starting from our hypnagogic vision (the one we see when we close our eyes), where the membrane of our eye is in no way a barrier but a surface, a translucent interface on which the elements, with their shapes and lights, are deposited. After working with sugar and metal, Sabrina Vitali now uses glass, playing with its mineral, penetrating, transparent and wounding properties. The gaze therefore pierces the material, while networks of red ink flood the works.

It's only a short step from the bloodstream to the waterways. Sabrina Vitali likes to blur the lines by working on different scales. Certain shapes and colors confuse the eye overcome by visual vertigo : a cell becomes a sun, a vein becomes a river, a flower becomes a muscle. The works catalyze upon contact with the manipulated materials - wax, fire, earth, ink, metal and dried plants - and embody that unique moment of the tipping point which can occur just before any metamorphosis. "Here the blood, which had stained the grass as it flowed on the ground, has ceased to be blood, and, brighter than Tyrian purple, a flower has bloomed, which by its form might resemble lilies." Sabrina Vitali evokes Ovid as much as the anatomical engravings of the 16th and 17th centuries, which merge human limbs with budding vegetation. An demiurge artist, Sabrina's vitality is as chaotic as it is orderly. She breathes new life into her works, in which everything becomes hybrid. A kind of magma, a "primordial soup" in which all elements are connected, digested and telescopic. At a time when technology is confusing and disrupting the boundaries between man and machine, culture and nature, these works remind us that we form a continuum with the elements that surround us. Sabrina Vitali provokes the decentralization of man, as the philosopher Donna J Haraway understands him, one among the "multiple, viscous and tentacular bodies" that make up the world. A world "where humans, decomposed into humus, compost with other species." Vitali's new works combine plants, metals, inks and waxes to form a spirit of partnership. In her sculptures in the center of the gallery, vertical slabs of etched wax and glass, sedimented with earth and rusted with iron, form a combination of cartographies from the sky, constellations and vein patterns. They are superimposed to merge and create new possibilities.

The wall sculptures entitled 3 secondes, made up of columns of 24 superimposed segments of microscope slides, tell a story about the artist's relationship with time. Sabrina Vitali invites us to slow down, to submit to the time it takes for metal to oxidize or for flowers to grow and fade. Like film, these works also recall the videos of American experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage (1933-2003), who, like a scientist in his laboratory, intervened in the image itself to add all sorts of small objects, dust, splashes of color or butterfly wings, inviting the viewer to embrace a visual sensibility of reality. Sabrina Vitali is also constantly experimenting. Like Rosa Luxemburg through her herbarium, she is politically and poetically committed to the ephemeral, the basis of all ecology.

Joséphine Dupuy Chavanat

Avril 2024