Galerie anne barrault is pleased to welcome Excesso Chamalo, a new solo exhibition by Marie Losier, with a new set of drawings, ceramics and videos.
From the beginning in New York, a lot of the people I met were eccentric personalities, who were at ease in front of the camera, or being on stage or having me paint them or doing things together. That everyday life became a kind of show, something theatrical. I think this is where life and documentary come together without having to force anything. I learned from the most extravagant of people! […]Somehow the way some of the people I’ve filmed live their lives, joins with something inside me that’s linked to performing your life. A lot of the films I love, like silent films for instance, are very theatrical with exaggerated gestures; the black and white of the photography and the scenery is very pronounced. I love rock and roll in the sense that it exists in the spotlight, on stage, in front of others. There’s a sense of performance. The body is transformed when singing, playing music or acting. Classic Hollywood movies often involved extravagant colors and scenery as if everything were a dream, larger than life. In a kind of cheap way, when I discovered the underground, I found my own Hollywood.
[…] When you make films, you’re archiving people’s lives. You end up with lots of outtakes, maybe a phone call you’ve recorded or bits of interviews, amazing scenes that are not in the final films. I keep all these things, they are like my jewelry, very dear to my heart. There are outtakes like the scene of Felix with the owl, that didn’t make the cut in the editing room, but I love these scenes, so I make them live in another way, in my movie boxes. They have a second life!
[…] I think my portrait drawing was at first a way of meeting people. I would do the same thing as when I’m preparing a film. I’d make tea and cakes and spend time with the person. I did monotypes, which is a technique where you spread very thick ink on a Plexiglas or glass sheet before adding a sheet of Japanese rice paper. I always asked the models to bring an object that was revealing of their secret personality. Then I’d look at them and paint as fast as I could without looking too much at the paper because it was the negative. If you draw a nose to the left it’s the opposite when you peel off the paper. It’s a negative of the positive, very close to film in that way. This technique also has the texture of film, it has a grain when you touch it with your hands, and you add light and darkness. It’s like working with one frame from a strip of film. I feel I have the same spontaneity as when I’m working with film. I don’t follow the rules in the same way. It’s messy and dirty. It’s like film in that you don’t see what you’ve done, then you peel back the paper and it’s a real surprise.
Today, my portraits are much more informed by film, because back then I hadn’t done much film. Now the characters, my friends, I can costume them much more, bring the artifice into the portrait setting. They become much more fictional because I’m more comfortable with the materiality of things and even with colors, which is a new process for me. But the most important and exciting thing is the person.
Extract from a conversation between Marie Losier and Constance DeJong (Oct-Nov 2020) published in Pleased to meet you #10, 2021
Excesso Chamalo, 2022
with camera 16mm, color, sound
Gloopie au paradis (Ben Russell), 2023
aquarelle and pencil on paper
57,5 x 82,5 cm
Sniff Nose, 2022
18 x 14 cm
Elise et Leo au grand galop!, 2023
aquarelle and pencil on paper
97 x 120 cm
15 x 10,5 x 10 cm /20 x 9 x 14 cm / 15 x 6,5 x 14 cm