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La Lessive

Performance with commentary by Pascal Rousseau, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2018


Performance, tissus mixtes peints et cousus, eau.

Pascal Rousseau gives a series of lectures on the work of Marcel Duchamp. He begins by addressing the cliché that the viewer makes the work of art through his or her gaze. I am standing next to a basin filled with water with a pile of clothes made of fabric that I have painted and sewn. As if facing a mirror, Pascal Rousseau reverses the Duchampian process: what if it was the work of art that made the viewer ?

Through this installation, I am revisiting my journey of transition, which I can now put into words. I revisit the drawings I produced as a child in the solitude of my room, strongly impacted by the angelic androgyny of the paintings in the church where I accompanied my grandmother, and the manga on television where ambiguous characters seemed to transform in an equally mystical and euphoric apotheosis (Sailor Moon, Shojo Kakumei Utena). My grandmother having passed on to me a taste for drawing, sewing and silk painting, I applied these techniques as a teenager in cosplay competitions at the manga conventions I attended, which initially allowed me to embody female characters in public, before I was able to assert this in my daily life. This work picks up on the practice of Transition goal, i.e. projects of gender transition in self-figurative and anticipatory drawings now shared on dedicated virtual communities, whose members are often adolescents.

As Pascal Rousseau discusses the Theory of Begetting through images (Éric Michaud) and its beliefs dating back to antiquity, history ends up intertwined with my auto-biography, as I dip my clothes in water to stretch them on a clothesline, becoming an exhibition medium. This series participates in the re-appropriation of my image and my narrative, after having been a model for several years, as a culmination of my image making. The series leaves open the possibility of being continued, La Lessive testifies to my adherence to the idea of a continuous transition rather than a detransition, adhering neither to regret nor to the idea of a return.

L’Ange du foyer 
L’Ange Cathodique
Le Jardin des Tuileries
Les Deux cousins 
Le Musée d'Orsay
L'Ange Digital
La Méditation


Performance at Palais de Tokyo, 5th November 2018
Arthur Gillet
54 rue de Turbigo 75003 Paris
+33 6 49 82 24 14