For Manifesta 13 – Les Parallèles du Sud, 3 bis f Contemporary Art Centre invites the artists Marie Ilse Bourlanges and Elena Khurtova to develop a sculptural opera bringing together narrative and matter.
Addressing the topics of displacement and disappearance, their dual artistic approach is characterised by amplifying subtle gestures to become monumental in relation to the given context of 3 bis f, a former isolation pavilion for women (“F” for Female) of Montperrin psychiatric hospital.
Working with the hospital archive protocol, Marie Ilse Bourlanges investigates the missing story of Ilse, a German woman who was alienated in the psychiatric hospital of La Timone in Marseille from 1950 until she died in 1983. Knowing virtually nothing about her grandmother, Marie Ilse Bourlanges recomposes collected fragments as a narrative patchwork, voiced to rehabilitate the silent presence of Ilse.
– do you believe a person’s character can come from the soil he or she is born on?
– In Russian traditions one that travels carries a handful of earth as protection.
In parallel, narrative and transient qualities of earth lead Elena Khurtova to research displacement through the specific case of “soil banks”, an organization that focuses on regulating ground flows released during excavation work. This organised displacement of matter is a starting point for her material translations in the space of 3 bis f. Countering the disappearance of intimacy with soil, Elena Khurtova performs gestures of care and explores the potential of her body collaborating with the excavated landscape.
Through elements of destruction and creation, soil and voice, the exhibition Displace proposes a dual reflection on the fragility and resilience of human and environmental conditions.
Exhibition concept by Marie Ilse Bourlanges & Elena Khurtova
Curated by Diane Pigeau
With the support of Région Sud, Mondriaan Fonds, Stichting Stokroos and Centre Hospitalier Montperrin
Centre d'Art 3 bis f, Hopital Psychiatrique de Montperrin, Aix-en-Provence, France
Les parallèles du Sud, Manifesta 13