Le Grand Jeu (exhibition, london 10/10-10/11, 2007)


Marilène's work is being utilized for our book 'The Medicalization of Cyberspace'. her new exhibition begins later this month. I'm down at the Royal College of Art on the 8th Oct, hoping to get a sneak preview afterwards.... Marilène Oliver - Le Grand Jeu EXHIBITION 10 October – 10 November 2007

BEAUX ARTS GALLERY 22 CORK STREET LONDON W1S 3NA Tel: 020 7437 5799 www.beauxartslondon.co.uk info [AT] beauxartslondon.co.uk Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am – 5.30pm, Saturday 10am-1.30pm

"I love her work because it does what art is supposed to do; open the way to another world." Jeanette Winterson

Since her first exhibition in 2003, Marilène has tirelessly continued to carve a unique place for herself in the art world, somewhere in between the disciplines of sculpture, printmaking, digital media and anatomy. Oliver uses digital copies of the human body (afforded by digital medical imaging technologies such as MRI and CT) in order to create figurative sculpture that provoke questions about the perception and identity of the human body in an increasingly digitized world.

For Le Grand Jeu Oliver worked with one sole anonymised CT dataset of a full female body called MELANIX, which she downloaded from a radiology website. Oliver chose to use an anonymised dataset so that she could project herself and her ideas onto and into it. In doing so she spawned a number of new large scale artworks.

Dervishes shows off Oliver’s new found skill of elaborate body carving. Oliver digitally sliced the body 36 times around a vertical axis, which runs from head to toe. Printed onto transparent material, each dervish has a different point of axis (front, back, centre, right and left) thus revealing a variety of views and encounters with the subject. Suspended from the ceiling, five ghostly life-size figures hang, inviting the viewers to walk among them. There is a solemn, dark beauty about these figures which seem to share a sense of intimacy with the viewer spinning independently as they catch the drafts of the passing viewers.

Oliver uses the same radiological tool to create Heart Axis / Womb Axis, but to entirely different effect.  This time, the axis’ are horizontal, slicing across the body, one through the heart and the other through the womb encouraging an emotional interpretation of the work.  Printed onto polycarcarbonate sheets with specialist colour-changing inks, the presentation draws on the language of gymnastics to suggest movement as the figures arch with the weight of the material they are created from.

In Grand Finale, Oliver uses the MELANIX dataset, to produce hundreds of maquettes.  Each different in both construction and colour, they hang as chandeliers, suspended in acrobatic positions, twisting and turning to give the impression of a carefully choreographed and spectacular finale of a ballet or musical.

The exhibition also features Leonardo’s Great Lady which is a 3-dimensional adaptation of an original drawing by Da Vinci; an extraordinary rendition of Otzi the 5,000 year old mummy found buried underneath the alps; a 3-D laser scan and rapid prototyping work entitled Shot Surface and a collapsed figure made of MRI scans engraved onto acrylic called the Exhausted Figure.

Olivers is an artistic brain with the creative spark needed to produce inspiring and thought-provoking works of art.  Yet, without contradiction or any apparent conflict, hers is also a scientific brain with logical thought processes and rational conclusions. For this reason, her work attracts a wide range of admirers from the art-collectors to doctors, medical specialists to philosophers and sociologists. Despite this academic appeal and capacity for endless intellectual debate; her art is primarily aesthetic and for this reason remains accessible to all who see to be enjoyed on many different levels.

There will be a catalogue to accompany the exhibition which includes an essay by Amelia Jones, writer and Professor in History of Art, University of Manchester.