For her solo exhibition at That’s What X Said in Brussels, Clémence Vazard presents two series of works which started from encounters during a journey in Mexico. Working in dialogue, the series challenge our perception of identities and their representation. The collaborative aspect of Vazard’s work is key, as is the importance of collecting intimate testimonies and stories of femininity through her artistic practice.
Red lipstick as painting, mirror paper stretched over a frame like a canvas. For the series “Beyond Self Reflection” Clémence Vazard shares with us powerful statements she gathered during her time in Mexico in 2020, in France in 2021, and more recently in London. For this collaborative artwork, she asked women to share sentences they would rather keep silent in order to be accepted by society and their entourage.
The letters are written from left to right on the mirrors as though they were written by a person on the other side. This game of reflection questions the reality of the world we live in, where the norms of self-representation can prevent us from expressing our identities with full sincerity.
“I am more than the color of my skin”, “I am removing the walls that I didn’t build”, I am a voice for justice and equality”, “I am exactly the person I wanted to be”. As a mantra, these committed messages empower and connect us within a feeling of sisterhood and “adelphité”.
“INMACULADXS” is Clémence Vazard’s recent series of embroidered photographs, printed on sustainable fabric. They are portraits of the witch and musician La Bruja de Texcoco, embracing the posture and apparel of the Virgin of Guadalupe – a religious but also political icon and symbol of cultural syncretism in Mexico. Sequins are embroidered on the printed fabric, reflecting the infinite facets of identity and appearance someone can have whilst celebrating their trans identity.
‘Inmaculadxs’, 240 x 140 cm was created during the artist residency at Casa Roga, in collaboration with Aura Olvera Matamoros, a sociologist, textile researcher and embroidery artist, and artist and craftswoman Erandine de Saint Phalle. This embroidery work collects emotions, shared stories, and experiences about femininity expressed during its creation.
The series of digital embroideries were developed as part of Vazard’s current research project at Central Saint Martins in London.
“We speak a different language. They say representation. We say experimentation. They say identity. We say multitude. (…)They say crisis. We say revolution.”
Paul B. Preciado, Un appartement sur Uranus, 2019
Text by Marie de Ganay
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