Cycle of exhibitions and residencies
Curator: Thomas Maestro
Installation by Loucia Carlier as part of the Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon children's book fair at the Espace Olympe de Gouges
Open from Sunday to Friday, 9:00-12:00 p.m. and 13:30-6:00 p.m., on Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
For the Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon children's book fair, Loucia Carlier will present a mural in artificial white leather, a kind of subterranean model, and two artworks that could be defined as being somewhere between painting and sculpture. In her work, the artist generally mixes objects and images connected to different iconography. On a large white format, she associates images linked to teenage references from the 2000s with witches, the inside of the body, psychoactive drugs, the corporate world and science fiction set in space… Through this diversity, she gives us a glimpse of the complexity of her intimate cultural construction. We all harbour contradictory beliefs that we prefer to hide, revealing them only in environments in which we feel safe and in front of peers who understand and share them. This is also suggested by the white model that plunges us into a miniature a cave. Filled with a bed, a planet and even parts of a computer, an intimate subterranean space, ordinarily hidden from the world, reveals itself.
The other two works presented here also take us underground. Alongside these cavities, we can make out other volumes that play on different scales and invite us to immerse ourselves in a tiny world. Although an adult, the artist is fascinated by plastic toys produced in the 1990s and 2000s, representing miniature worlds in which figurines can interact. Loucia Carlier uses this preoccupation in her work, conjuring up small planets drawn from a science fiction film or 3D-printed furniture models that bring to mind waiting rooms. We can also make out the tables and chairs of corporate meeting rooms. These objects look as if they have been abandoned by workers after the end of the world.
Other elements might evoke the world of internet cafes which, at the beginning of our century, enabled the expansion of online communication and hacker culture. Secretly, hackers explore the digital depths and hijack its functions, gain access to hidden information, or disrupt the production rhythm of a world ruled by private enterprise. Here, it’s not about judging whether the impacts of the hackers’ actions are positive or negative. Instead, the artist prefers to show us the possibility of secret, underground communication, which resists corporate brutality and favours rest over productivity at any cost. This is suggested by the images of a woman dozing, headphones on. She is a telephone operator who we imagine is employed by a call centre, which itself works for a bigger company. The employees of these companies, who are often badly paid, offer their services remotely under ever-increasing pressure to perform. They make a huge number of calls each day, always under the watchful eye of their managers who assess their performance. The image used by the artist shows the act of resistance of a worker who would rather rest and dream of another world than let herself be overwhelmed by the constraints of work.
After studying at different art schools (ESADHaR Le Havre and Rouen), Thomas Maestro chose to bring a curatorial dimension into his artistic practice. He trained through a master’s degree in exhibition curation (Sorbonne Université) and is a member of the collective Champs magnétiques. With this group, he co-constructed the cycles of exhibitions “Des soleils encore verts” (2021) and “Le reseau des murmures” (2023-2024). He has also worked as an associate curator and project manager at Cneai (Centre National Édition Art Image) and was artistic and curatorial assistant to Daniel Purroy in Vitry-sur-Seine (artist and former artistic director of the Galerie Municipale Jean-Collet). He is also a member of the artistic and curatorial duo Éléments partout, co-founded in 2020 with his collaborator Agathe Schneider. He is interested in secrets, shifts in reality, ruins and shacks, in what is barely visible but very much present. Transmission, as a vector for collective movements, is at the heart of his aspirations.
Loucia Carlier (born 1992) lives and works in Paris. A former student at the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs de Paris and the École cantonale d'art de Lausanne, she was awarded the Révélations Emerige grant in 2020. Her pieces, crosses between sculpture and painting, form hybrid landscapes that create and layer stories that transport us into a dystopian future. In 2023, she was artist-in-residence at the Villa Belleville. Her work has been shown at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in 2019, at Art:Concept in Paris in 2021 and at the Salon de Montrouge in 2023.