press release

Interview with Mathilde Rosier for the exhibition "Cosmetic Relief"

The first time I saw your works was at the Rijksakademy in Amsterdam 2002, where you exhibited your „cyclic“ movie "Every Day the Same – Serial K.," which was a film without a beginning and an end where the viewer think that they see a crime, but cannot draw a logical conclusion from it. This loss of orientation also seems to be important in your other films like "Far Away from Honolulu" (2003), "Time and Place "(2003) or "Lac" (2004). What compels you to make these films: what is your principal interest?

I am very interested in cinema, from an aesthetic and analytic point of view. I think I try to make films in the continuity of the cinematograph that was the early age of the cinema. It is a strange thing to think that “moving pictures”, in 1910, had to resort to narration in order to emancipate themselves from painting whereas painting was emancipating itself from narration, thanks to abstraction. I study ways of making “moving pictures” without generating any narration, even though it is almost impossible. The viewer should build the story by resorting to an inner world, he has to create the logical links between the sequences. I just offer images.

You also do music performances that resembles concerts, but actually aren´t. Which role does music play in your work?

Music is physical. Because of the rhythm, it has a physiological impact on the body. Contrary to images, music travels to the brain through channels that are more archaic. This has to do with what you call a loss of orientation. For me, it is also a loss of consciousness. Many artists look for a synthesis of the arts, as the Romantics did. For the Romantics, the collapse of the sense of hearing with the sense of sight should reveal “a mysterious unity of the world”. The Truth over the Real, probably I think this general interest for an “Art total” is linked to a desire to surpass the debate about the impossibility of representing reality. The 20th century was a period of struggle against illusionist representation in painting and in cinema also. Even though the power of painting is between perception and cognition, the laws of perception impose formal contingencies on the artist.

The exhibition „Cosmetic Relief“ will be the first in a long time where you will not be showing a film piece. It will be centered on a sound installation and paper-collages. Could you tell me a little about your ideas about „Cosmetic Relief“?

I will show paintings and a sound installation together, which are based on a song with lyrics that stem from a poem by Charles Baudelaire: “L’invitation au voyage”. Baudelaire created the concept of "Correspondances", which develops the idea of existing connections between painting and music (or any other artistic medium). As an art critic, he made the transition between Romanticism and Modernism. He did not care much about the subject in painting and refused to intellectualize the image. As we cannot reduce an image to its ability to reproduce reality, we cannot reduce it to the political or philosophical interpretations one could extract from it. As I said, I try to break the link between an image and what it shows. I see the subject in painting as arbitrary as I see the scenario in my films. A film should be an undefined message, which has no reason to end, as it had no reason to start. The paintings are collages of cutout figures on paper. Those cutouts make me think of a performance in a paper theatre. Those “reliefs” seem to create a distance between the viewer and the depicted objects and underline our suspicion about the representation of the Real. The term "cosmetic" has a double meaning: it is a search for harmony and unity but it also refers to something superficial or artificial, one uses it to cover something else. I see painting as a cosmetic.


only in german

Mathilde Rosier: Cosmetic Relief