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

Gisèle Vienne

From 16 february to 26 august 2018
les Abattoirs
Photo issue de la série "40 Portraits” © Gisèle Vienne. Poupée réalisée par Gisèle Vienne, en collaboration avec Dorli Vienne Pollak

Last year, Les Abattoirs acquired 9 works derived from the 40 Portraits and Through their Tears series. On the occasion of the presentation in early April of the play Jerk at the Théâtre Garonne, Les Abattoirs are presenting a series of photographs and a film by the artist that encourages the audience to go beyond appearances and follow the theme of a world on the brink of collapse.

Gisèle Vienne (born in 1976), a French-Austrian choreographer, artist, director, and photographer, works within the fields of live performance and fine arts. At the heart of her photographic and staged narratives, puppets embody ambiguous and troubling characters. Caught between strength and fragility, teenage models sport the outfits of a trashy, melancholic world. Seemingly as absent as they are present, they exude an air of the uncanny. Following the tradition of the falsely artisanal practice of puppetry, Gisèle Vienne surpasses the surrealist legacy to paint a psychological portrait of the contemporary teenager.
Using her art to work on the question of solitude as well as that of group dynamics, Gisèle Vienne has developed regular collaborations for her creations. She works with scandalous authors such as Dennis Cooper or Catherine Robbe-Grillet; multidisciplinary artists such as photographer Antoine Masure; artist, musician and performer Jean-Luc Verna; or actor, puppeteer, ventriloquist, singer, and dancer Jonathan Capdevielle. “I frequent people who are absolutely adorable but who have abominable thoughts! And there is nothing more uplifting, for me, than to see or to think transgressive things that you wouldn’t do in life.” This quest for the shady element within us all can be seen in her puppets, which she makes, stages, puppeteers, or photographs.