Schleicher + Lange

Zoë Mendelson

29 Nov 2008 - 17 Jan 2009

© Zoë Mendelson, courtesy galerie schleicher+lange, Paris
'The use of things (telescopes)', 2008, collage, 61 x 32 cm
© Zoë Mendelson, courtesy galerie schleicher+lange, Paris
'Mirage #1 (If you lived here you would be home by now)', 2008, collage elements, glass dome, fluorescent light, plinth
© Zoë Mendelson, courtesy galerie schleicher+lange, Paris
installation view at Gennevilliers art centre
photo © Laurent Lecat
Zoë Mendelson: lie detector act II - delusion

The Lie Detector project was designed as a threepart exhibition, with the first two parts taking place in two exhibition spaces (Galerie Edouard Manet, Centre d’Art de Gennevilliers and galerie schleicher+lange respectively). The third part is played out virtually, as if in another dimension. It manifests itself in the connection with the artist’s studio, from where drawings will be transmitted to both spaces, printed on the roll of paper of an old fax machine.
The eloquent title, Lie Detector, immediately belied by illusion and delusion, situates us in a third realm somewhere between true and false. Machines – in this instance, the polygraph of the title – are one of the keys to the work of Zoë Mendelson. She uses telescopes, binoculars, projectors, obsolete machines in her collages, drawings and installations, without nostalgia. Rather, they refer to the absurd authority we bestow on machines, which is more blatant with outmoded models. They also recall childhood and the fascination for what lies in the grey area of what is at once true, yet not – fiction and the pleasure of correspondence. These support each other in the
artist’s drawings and collages, where the instinctive and decorative coincide.

Lie Detector. Act II: Delusion, the part shown at galerie schleicher+lange, has been devised like an architecture containing dreams and projections. The project is rooted in the term ‘bedlam’, which originally referred to Bethlam Royal Hospital, an old London psychiatric hospital, before coming to encompass all mental institutions, and now means ‘commotion’ or ‘chaos’. This semantic evolution describes the artist’s approach in creating the exhibition, which sees her collages and drawings used progressively. They are presented and transposed on light-boxes, structures decked out in peepholes, antiquated binoculars or opera glasses.
She focuses in particular on the notion of ‘delusion’, with its connotations of deception, the hallucinations of the mentally ill or persistent illusion. This superimposition of an image within objective reality is associated here with her drawing.

Lie Detector. Act I: Illusion, shown at Galerie Edouard Manet, Centre d’Art de Gennevilliers, comprises several new works – installations, objects, drawings and collages – which, with humour and a dose of theatricality, present the principles behind the fabrication of mental images based on the conjunction of subjectivity and reality. The fake light beams of antique projectors index real collages or drawings hung on the walls. Zoë Mendelson’s decorative motifs are lent shape and existence by the cakes, displayed here on shelves, which were made by an English pastry chef during a performance on the evening of the opening. Further on, a 1920s buffet
transformed into a cabinet of curiosities houses drawings, collages in light-boxes, and a series of photographs in which the artist recreates the posing patients immortalised by Jean-Martin Charcot in the late 19th century.

First act on display at the Gennevilliers art centre :

lie detector - act I : illusion
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Tags: Édouard Manet, Zoë Mendelson