November 2012



ProjectB Gallery is pleased to present HAVEN HER BODY WAS - the personal exhibition of French artist Noemie Goudal - to inaugurate the new section of the gallery in Via Maroncelli 7, in Milan. Ten photographs (eight of them large-scale) are on display, tracing the artist's recent journey from the first series, Les Amantes, to the last shots of the new series, entitled Haven her Body Was.

“By overlapping meanings and materials in the photographic context, Noemie Goudal weaves together truth and stories, opening up doors into make-believe worlds; far-off, isolated places are a starting point for examining the state and flow of the relationship between photography, memory and truth. “Text written by Sebastian Montabonel and Emma Lewis.

Noemie Goudal's work investigates how we look at the image via art installations, videos, sculpture and, above all, photography. The figure of the artist is fundamental: she uses these methods to transform the photographed object into an image that then becomes a “work of art”. Her poetic work explores the relationship between the body (as a means of calibrating her work) and the structure of the image (as a tool for recognising the artistic intervention). Noemie Goudal works on the land, setting up large paper backgrounds that are deliberately distinguishable. She superimposes them on the landscape, creating an image that sits on the borderline of reality without ever really forsaking it. The onlooker finds himself viewing the image from a stance that hovers between make-believe and imagination and, in “a place of contemplation where life stops, a place where you can look and listen”, he's forced to observe everything from new perspectives.” Interview by Cristiana Campanini

The artist's complex spatial fiction echoes certain Renaissance paintings, building a new dimension, “another” space detached not only from our world, but also from invention. It's a place where questions can be asked about our perception of reality, and the possibility of discovering new lands. The new series, Haven Her Body Was, explores the opposition between organic elements and those “adulterated” by man. Noemie Goudal's “dialectic image” is compared with the relationship we've always had with the lonely places and independent lands of our imagination, like islands and caves.

“The key lies in the qualities of the subject matter - wild nature contrasting with the inflexibility of the man-made structure. Whether they're natural paradises inserted in abandoned industrial landscapes or, on the contrary, a post-modern addition symbolising the Utopian ideology, invoked in a context of wild nature, these backgrounds hint at an escape from the scenes surrounding them - a possibility implicit in the pure otherness.” Text written by Sebastian Montabonel and Emma Lewis.

“What are you working on now?

I'm still searching for secluded places with a strong narrative impact, such as islands, caves and nests. Reading Gilles Deleuze's "Desert Islands" really shed new light on this research. The island is a piece of the mainland that has broken away. Enveloped by the sea, it looks like it's floating. It waivers on the ocean, like a raft.” Interview by Cristiana Campanini