Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Toulouse, FRAC Midi-Pyrénées

Maya Rochat

A ROCK IS A RIVER
From 29 september 2017 to 24 february 2018
 
Médiathèque des Abattoirs
Maya Rochat. MAGIC CAVE (détail) de la série A ROCK IS A RIVER, 2016. Courtesy de l’artiste et de la Galerie Lily Robert

It is a unique and hypnotic experience that Swiss artist Maya Rochat invites us to partake in with an immersive installation devised for the spaces of the Médiathèque des Abattoirs.

Organic and wild, the designs are open-ended. By combining the magic of photography with the physicality of painting through chromatic alterations and excesses of information, I generate a continuous and slow process of images in transformation, reflecting our world in permanent flux.” Maya Rochat

Born in 1985 in Germany, Maya Rochat lives and works in Geneva. Originally photography-based, her work has developed at the crossroads of video, painting, drawing, collage, and installation.

Her research is founded on the observation of profusion, but also new modes of distribution and images in the post-Internet and Instagram era. Eluding the traditional codes of photography, Maya Rochat consistently applies the rule of “constructing and deconstructing”. Using photography as a ‘reality tool’, but also poetry and music, she transforms her photographs using painting, drawing, sculpture, and video. Digital metamorphoses and the occasional use of spray can and scanner pass successively over photographic surfaces that are decomposed and re-photographed several times. From these distortions arise visual superpositions, sometimes also layers of sound, as well as new abstractions. Work on levels, scales, rhythms and imbalances are cleverly combined and overturn the usual perceptions of the pictorial experience, which the artist confronts us with by scrambling “the physical limits of images so as to better anchor them within reality”.

Maya Rochat passes indifferently from one medium to the other – a book, a tarpaulin, a photograph, a video, a car, etc. All of them contribute to the same approach, as though she were able to pass seamlessly from book format to that of the wall or the exhibition space. She thus evokes the “slow and continuous process of mutating images”, these images that invade the space and surpass their frames, in order to pursue their organic existence. For Maya Rochat, the transition to print is nonetheless the final part of the creative process. By entwining these images with printing techniques, she gives rise to new abstractions: the various printing technologies – offset and screen-printing – that are interwoven throughout the pages thus produce a unique materiality. Her strong interest in publishing is expressed through the many artist’s books she has created in recent years. Shower Power, Cristal Clear, Mystic Fatal Errors, Vote for Me!, Ma tête à couper [You Bet], Cheese coma are publications that navigate between photographs and abstraction, like an Instagram collage, without text. However, she can also rework them, spray over them, and... tack them to the wall:

I understand ‘the publication space’ as something site-specific, the images thus take into account the physical possibilities of the book. I create digital and analogue layers by using various technologies and printing materials. Using visual experimentation as a process of production of the book, I compose each page as a new pictorial experience,” explains the artist.
In search of a “visual and emotional experience”, with A ROCK IS A RIVER, the artist immerses us in her vertiginous, fascinating, and poetic pictorial world, which invades the Médiathèque des Abattoirs. It is also the title of the latest artist’s book by Maya Rochat presented on this occasion.


The artist’s book A ROCK IS A RIVER was presented for the first time in France at the vernissage held on 29 September 2017 at les Abattoirs bookshop.