In front of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, in the ponds and fountains, some very curious monsters come out of the water. We imagine a plastic Loch Ness or fiery red aliens. If the viewer gets closer, he discovers a pile of garbage cans, our garbage cans, that dot the sidewalks of our cities every morning.
Anita Molinero’s sculptures are like this: we recognize recycled materials literally exploited by fire and machine. We guess then the influence of science fiction cinema, to later capture the poetry of her work.
Anita Molinero is a French artist, originally from Floirac in the Bordeaux suburbs. Graduated fromAt the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, since the 1980s he has been mistreating reclaimed materials with skill and fun. His first adventure field is the sidewalks, in search of the objects that he will transform. When some sculptors work in marble, stone or clay, she prefers plastic and concrete.
“By the choice of materials” explains Olivia Gaultier-Jeanroy, curator of the exhibition,“She’s very pragmatic, she didn’t have any money at the beginning of her career, so she turned to recycled materials. She’s an ingenious artist by economy of means.”
Anita Molinero explains that the choice of the wastebasket as an object of torture came to her when she was in Marseille : “I was walking down the street, and the kids had set the garbage cans on fire. I thought that was great.”
The result: authentic sculptures. The visitor hardly recognizes the original object in these strange, delicate or brutal forms. Each invents the story of the work. When a mother sees a residue of the consumer society, her son can see a cat there. It seems that these different interpretations make the artist smile.
To speak of reference, if she rejects any classification in the drawers of art history, these calcined, compressed objects evoke the new realists who were César or Arman. out of humility, “one of those great qualities” says Olivia Gautier–Jeanroy, you don’t want to be compared to these artists.
“The two main axes of Anita Molinero’s work are gesture and matter”, explains Olivia Gaultier-Jeanroy. “For her, sculpting is deforming matter, and seeing that plastic or polystyrene burn is very beautiful.” Anita Molinero’s strength is to make poetic these social wastes that she brutalizes by fire or machine.
The red, blue or green PVC of our urban signage becomes cheerful, closer to the pop colors than to the gray of the industrial wastelands. With it, even fiber cement becomes welcoming, transformed into a bench.
“I hope that people leave the exhibition with a more poetic look at what is lying on the ground, in garbage cans, and learn to look at what our societies leave on the streets in a different way. With Anita there is always a point of madness!”. adds the curator of the exhibition.
If the poetry of the works dominates, sometimes the violence of the street arises. The artist rejects any political explanation, but knows the aggressive and painful world of the street. “The materials used (…) translate more the symptoms of the misery of the street than a criticism of the consumer society” writes Anne Giffon-Selle in the exhibition catalog: “Extrudia”
Because sometimes this garbage, this waste, this residue of society becomes disturbing sculptures. If it is not a question of denunciation (we respect the artist’s wish), the violence shines through and the exhibition room becomes a space of urban violence.
Browsing through this retrospective, the visitor can also have the feeling of walking through deserted film studios. olivia gaultier–Jeanroy tells us about the artist’s passion for cinema: “She watches a movie a day and the cinema is an inspiration for her.” TTerminator, Alien, Robocop, Mad Max… you name it. From science fiction to horror movies.
We recognize the dripping and misshapen characters (the Aliens), as well as the armored and armed fighters (the Terminators) in the exhibited sculptures. Children will see the cheerful monsters from their comics there, while the older ones will think they see the creatures dreamed of by transhumanists.
This work that the artist has been building for 40 years is still little known by the general public. The Museum of Modern Art in Paris highlights the magic and wonder of Anita Molinero’s sculptures, a cabinet of science fiction curiosities invented from the most banal and the most ridiculous.
Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris until July 24