This July, Camden Arts Centre
presents the first solo exhibition in the UK by French artist Mathilde Rosier (b.1973). Rosier creates atmospheric environments which allow the viewer to lose any sense of space or time and offer a portal to other planes of being. Drawing on her interest in the physical and psychological experience of ancient rites and rituals, her new installation for Camden transforms one of the galleries into a series of rooms. Bringing together paintings, sculptural assemblages and film, this constructed environment evokes the journey between conscious and unconscious realms. Mathilde Rosier: Necklace of Fake Teeth runs until 25 September. Admission is free.
Referencing Sigmund Freud, Howard Carters excavation of Tutankhamens tomb and Jean Rouchs 1955 film Les Maîtres Fous, the focal point of the installation is a bed - a recurring motif in Rosiers work - which can be seen as the stage of dreams, the threshold through which we enter a buried psychic state. The couch was central to the theatre of Freuds psychoanalytic therapy, and for Rosier it represents an alter or the stage for ritualistic performance. Her performances simulate archaic rituals and use handmade props and costumes which evoke the sense of mystery involved in religious or ritualistic ceremonies.
For Rosier, the uncovering of relics and objects in Egypt can been seen in parallel to the exploration of the human psyche developed by Freud at the same time as a process of reclaiming or uncovering suppressed memories. Rouchs controversial docufiction documents the Hauka movement an historical pageant, traditional in Niger, involving dancing and mimicry and performed during colonial rule, to extract the life force of the Europeans. Rouch was the proponent of docufiction a practice integrating fiction and documentary film, whilst blurring traditional distinctions between subject and observer - and these concerns can also be seen in Rosiers practice.
On the closing day of the exhibition (25 September), another performance will take place at the Freud Museum, near Camden Arts Centre. Based on the Oceanic Feeling that featured in Freuds Civilisation and its Discontents (1929), the performance will enact the sense of limitlessness and connection with the external world that dramatist and mystic Romain Rolland argued was pervasive in various religious systems, introducing the concept to Freud.
Mathilde Rosier was born in 1973 in Paris and currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Bourgogne, France. She studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts Paris and Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. She had solo exhibitions at Musée Jeu de Paume, Paris (2010) and Abteiberg Museum, Mönchengladbach (2010) and has performed at the Serpentine Gallery, London (2009). Group exhibitions in Germany include Kunstmuseum Mühlheim an de Ruhr, (2010), Staatsgalerie Stuttgard (2010), Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; and in 2009 she was included in Head-Wig at Camden Arts Centre.