On the Earth, 2005 (video, 13min)
The Round Eyes, 2006 (video, 6min)
Ariane Michel lives in Paris where she was born in 1973, and graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (Paris). Her work has been shown in the contemporary art field (FRAC in Reims, MoMA, New York) as well as film world, (Locarno, IFF Rotterdam or FID Marseilles). Her recent project, ‘The Screening’, which is both a performance and a film, was shown as an “Art Statements” project at Art Basel 38, and on the Piazza Grande at Locarno 60th Film Festival. Her latest personal show took place in the Atelier du Jeu de Paume, Paris. Her feature film ‘Les Hommes’ received the Grand Prize for French competition at FID Marseilles in 2006.
Ariane Michel’s artistic work contains a substance rarely found these days, the animal. The animal is an object of the study of the motif. The beast is a control lever for the sound and for the image.
Beyond the representation, the animal is a narrative tool. A lever to travesty the film that slips into the atmosphere of a tale. There is, in that case, some kind of diegetic animal (the walrus, for example, in “On the earth” presented at Jeunisme 2), that is to say set by the film itself. More exactly, a fiction that is secreted by the film itself, like a release of endomorphs is secreted by the body itself.
There is no addition of any external product. The sound is direct, the image is pure. The living against the artificial. But everything has a chemical effect, fantasmagoric vision, creation of mental images. This fictionwork factory is based on the daily life as documental object to reach the myth as fictional object, in the sense that the fiction only exists through the activity of the mind.
That image actually has the ability to make us re-discover the world, the nature of the world as the great community of species, human and animal, as a tale. But above all, it can remind us that we are watching.
Ariane Michel’s work leads her to seek for an integration of the animal and the landscape – that will immediately stop to be purely ornamental. Thus, that integration does not only respond to plastic preoccupations, but also has a metaphysical meaning. The films have a pantheist vision of nature. Everything is a unit, the sum of everything that exists. The film is the sum of the animal, of the landscape and of herself.
- by Jean-Marc Chapoulie