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The Angel in the house


Art center Transpalette, Collective exhibition Traversée Renarde for 40th anniversary of Beaubourg Art Center, 2017

Indoor landscape extract, electronic system, earthenware, wood, marquetry, golden leaf, performance


        Installation activated by a performance the 21st of October 2017 7 p.m. at the art center Transpalette for the exhibition « Traversée Renarde ». Through vernacular and folkloric patterns conceived as a mixture, with excesses, lacks, repetitions, the piece explore the plasticity of memory, the quality of our models from which they come ; their importance in our identity building, then the necessity to become emancipated. The intallation is linking an excerp of the diary of Virginia Woolf (of the necessity to « Kill the Angel of the house ») to psychoanalysis (the ordeal of mourning, by the confusion of the figure of the gardian-angel and the ghost, and the movement of turning over like Orpheo and Lot’s wife).


        10 little boxes in different vernacular styles reconstructed as useless familiar objects are made by the artist in enamelled earthenware, wood and marquetry. They are each containing a holy picture mostly from 19th century depicting an angel protecting children in a dangerous situation. The flesh of the angels has been cut out. Every box is connected to a table with an electronic system containing a picture printed on a A4. The electronic board controls the light pulses emitted from each box, in three different signal outputs, corresponding to the evolution of the performance.

        For the performance, the clothes are made by the artist to identify to Marie, the woman in the picture who made herself the same clothes.

        The selection of plants in the living circle are coming from my grand-mother’s garden.

        The Angel in the house is a poem by Conventry Patmore, written in 1854 for the beloved Emily Patmore. It became the archetype of the feminine ideal viewed by a very patriarchal society from the 19th century to nowdays. It is also a recurrent figure in the work of Virginia Woolf such as Clarissa Dalloway and Mrs Ramsay, for who she shows great respect and affection.


Arthur Gillet
54 rue de Turbigo 75003 Paris
+33 6 49 82 24 14
contact@arthurgillet.com