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Clémentine MÉLOIS
De deux choses l'une (One thing or the other)

February 8th - March 24th, 2018

 “De deux choses l’une” (One thing or the other) is the first solo exhibiting by Clémentine Mélois in the galerie Lara Vincy, there follows the catalogue’s preface, published on this occasion:

This pastiche preface is a potential preface for a catalogue of Clémentine Mélois’ works.  It is what is called a “mise en abyme”, a pointless orthographical coquettishness, for which the pitiless corrector suggests «mise en abimé» (place into spoiling).
In the painting Les Époux Arnolfini by Jan Van Eyck, if one looks at the little rounded mirror hanging on the back wall, one discovers the whole room, with the spouses seen from the back and the painter himself.  Without that detail, one would talk less of the Flemish primitive’s oil paint on wood.  If Clémentine Mélois had attacked that work, it would doubtless have been at that instant of wheeling around, that she would have set up the discrepancy, which is the essence of her art: a dress opened as far down as the buttocks, like Mireille Darc in Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire, for Madame Arnolfini (the connoisseurs will remember), an April Fool’s Day fish dangling down his back for Monsieur Arnolfini, the list of possibilities is endless.
What all of Clémentine Mélois’ body of work requires, is that one should succeed in deciphering the code. Certainly, one must agree to make one’s eye move, but an eye which is already educated, already complicit. It is the onlookers who make the paintings, as Marcel Duchamp quite rightly pointed out.  It is also they who can re-make them, adds Clémentine.  To the “Ready-mades” of the male Oulipian, who ironically questions the reception of the work of art, there comes a reply of the “Steady-moved” of the female Oulipian, who suggest a displacement of that reception towards equilibrium, far more precarious, and differently precarious.
We cannot escape it. And that is just fine.
I don’t believe I can put it better without the help of a powerful drug.

Hervé Le Tellier

Clémentine Mélois
Born in 1980.
Lives and works in Nantes/F.

Graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-arts in Paris, member of the Oulipo, author of a compendium of pastiches of literary classics (Cent titres, Éditions Grasset 2014), of a novel inspired by her collection of shopping  lists (Sinon j’oublie, Éditions Grasset, 2017) and of a treaty of nihilism for youth (Jean-Loup fait des trucs, Éditions Les Fourmis rouges, 2015), she is also one of the « Papous » on France Culture and contributes to the magazines Mon Lapin Quotidien (L’Association), Le Courage (Éditions Grasset) and the late Le Tigre.
Her work, exclusively made up of multiples, combines Pop culture and classical culture, Web culture and art history, within a puzzle on the codes of photography and of publishing.

Translated in English by Ann Cremin, 2018