Marine Penhouët is a French pluridisciplinary women artiste living and working in Brussels. The artist creates mixed media artworks, paintings, drawings, prints and installations. By referencing relics of the past, romanticism, psychedelia and symbolism, she touches various overlapping themes and strategies. Several reoccurring subject matter can be recognized, such as the relation with popular culture and bygone chronicles. Her imagination travels back in time through repetition, deconstruction, collages and with the investigation of the process itself what defines a subjective present. Her mixed media artworks establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined. By exploring the concept of the landscape in a nostalgic way, she creates work through labour-intensive processes which can be seen explicitly as a personal exorcism ritual. Her artistic process based on an archaeological protocol between method and desire. She investigates the dynamics of images including the historic imprint. She reveal the remembrance of the past to keep awake the future by highlighted the importance of the dialectic. She manipulate those thoughts in installation, often made in-situ, where interact her artefacts made of mixed media as fetishes. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination. What really makes the sound of an image when we close our eyes?
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Born in Lorient in 1989, Marine Penhouët is a multidisciplinary artist. After training in printed images in France, Belgium and Germany, she now approaches the image in its multiple facets of reproducibility.
Coming from different referentials, the artist’s plastic methodology is marked by a demanding collection approach, employing for example the visited architectural lines of the desert of Petra (2018), the drawn perspective of Giotto’s paintings, the juxtaposition of planes as a symbolic function in De Chirico’s Canto d’amore painting (1914), the cut-out coconut palms of The Cure’s album, Boy’s Don’t Cry (1980), the influence of the smiley face in the «Acid House» culture, the spiritual balance of the Yin-Yang couple, the allegorical register of death from the Middle Ages… Marine Penhouët extracts signs that she transforms, assembles, hybridizes and makes disappear to her advantage.
The notion of matrix is central. The artist seizes upon it to the point of diverting certain printing and reproduction tools. Indeed, the signs evolve through twists and turns and through the different mediums she uses, such as engraving, drawing, painting or photography. The installation is often the means by which the artist fixes the result of the research. As an editor, under the project, Hypnotismezine (2012), the photocopier allows her to generate the multiple. In her personal practice, the same tool «glitches» images and texts in random movements under the flash of the machine. Through numerous allusions to the sun, the glare and the process of «revelation» the use of photography illustrates this unbreakable link between chemical reaction and optics in his plastic language. The experimental approach to representation and composition underlines this persistent quest for the birth of the image.
Among a great variety of materials or in the depth of the diorama, the artist also uses collage as a vector of a poetic reality. The search for precision through annotation is reinforced with the use of the phylactery taking the form of the box, the banner or footnotes. Particularly used in medieval painting, these spaces are associated with talismans which confer them a magical power. As an additional poetic lever, Marine Penhouët invests the title often inspired by an «image» that precedes it, specifically with the works You’re never gonna die (2016-2021) in reference to Pink Floyd, and Atlas (2016- 2021) to Aby Warburg. From a collection of photographs captured in black and white in the desert of Jordan and a rarefaction of the sign, the artist translates the lived moment by means of a logical combination between colors, oxidation, technique and materials until sublimation, identifiable with the works Palm (2018), Wadi (2018), and Ite Maledicti (2020-2021). The artist, imbued with the imaginary of the cabinets of curiosity and the technicality of bas-reliefs, creates transversal images where meaning and composition are put into perspective adjoining anachronism and unexpected continuity. By associating sagacity and reflection linked to the power of the image as a vehicle of knowledge and narratives, Marine Penhouët coordinates a reverie with poetic potential where pareidolia and chance intermingle.
Matrice et Persistance, 2022 Extract from the text by Lucie Pinier, independent curator
Pro itu et reditus, Public space installation, Dedale (Bienale), Huy (Be)
Vitriol, end of residency exhibit, Lomé, Togo
Moerdijk sculpture on stone, Moerdijkt (BE), 2020&21