Tatiana Trouvé, the art of restlessness

Dreamlike images float in Room 3 of the Center Pompidou. On nebulous backgrounds, large neat drawings, in black pencil and watercolor, mix fragments of architecture and nature, like this large uprooted tree that lies in a room. Positive and negative visions are superimposed as in photographic flashes. Some bear the beautiful name of forgotten. Others more ghostly still, traced on the screen of a dark night, are called remanence. It is therefore a question here of an oblivion and a memory, of a mental territory, in short. Welcome to “The Great Atlas of Disorientation” by Tatiana Trouvé!

This is the second time that the artist, defended today by the powerful Gagosian gallery, exhibits in Beaubourg. The first time was in 2008, as the winner of the Marcel-Duchamp Prize. He had filled the showroom there with a slow flow of black sand, as a measure of time. “I always conceive my work in situ, in close relationship with a place”, he confesses, with that nice touch of accent that recalls his Italian origins.

“The stone, the ant, the star, everything is connected”

For this new tapestry, Tatiana Trouvou modified the floor of the exhibition hall, embedding stone fragments and drawing “different ways of inhabiting the world” : here the movements of ants, there the olfactory map of wolf packs recorded in Yellowstone Park (United States), in other places the trajectories of neutrinos or of a cytoplasm, or even the dream maps of aboriginal peoples.

“When I discovered this totemic culture, I found many echoes with my work”, she points. “I am interested in his relationship with the unconscious and with dreams, his conception of the world that weaves ties between things from a center. The stone, the ant, the star, everything is connected. continues who, in his private life, is also an environmental activist.

Tatiana Trouvou grew up in Cosenza in Calabria, then in Dakar as a teenager, in the shadow of an architect and sculptor father. “He only sculpted figures”, specifies, revealing a paternal statuette hidden in a corner of the gallery.

On the contrary, he chose to represent only empty spaces, from which the human seems to have been absent, forgetting only a pair of shoes here, suitcases there… Which reinforces the disturbing climate of his series. restlessness, where inside and outside merge while dragging copper cables, sometimes a gas bottle. Even the sculptures of his guardians published in the exhibition offer only an empty chair with, abandoned on it, a sweater, a bag, books, personal effects such as petrified in marble, onyx or bronze.

“Prehistoric Artist”

Tatiana Trouvou keeps a very precise memory of the disaster, as evidenced by a large drawing exhibited in Beaubourg. One day in Cosenza, a huge rock fell from a nearby quarry onto the roof of the family home. She crossed the bedroom to land in the middle of the living room.

Such blocks, like the walls of this quarry, seem to haunt several of the artist’s works. In others, the monolith seems to have become a menhir taken from Carnac by the artist, fascinated by these signs inscribed in the landscape. “My friend the archaeologist Jean-Michel Geneste even once called me a prehistoric artist! », he admits with a smile.

This does not prevent you from closely following the news. At the entrance to the exhibition he hung a series of drawings drawn on the front pages of newspapers around the world, during the first confinement. When it was lifted on May 11, 2020, while the newspaper Release Sarcastically titled “Back to the Abnormal,” Tatiana Trouvou brought up the specter of an oil rig spewing dark smoke at her side. Like the chronicle of a disaster foretold.


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