COVER STORY #03
Text by Martha Kirszenbaum
In an infamous episode of the science-fiction American TV series The Twilight Zone, entitled “The After Hours” (1961), a middleclass American woman gets lost in the apparently inexistent 9th floor of a large department store, and enters the twilight zone where humans and mannequins are confound, blurring the thin line between the representation of bodies and objects. Built around a captivating narrative, this episode investigates a deeper human anguish very present in popular culture of lost identity, living objects and inanimate bodies.
Caroline Mesquita’s sculptural practice intertwines the materiality of her altered, oxidized, and painted brass sheets with theatrical playfulness. Her metallurgic experiments result in life-size figures, interacting with each other in a mise-en-scène crafted from the sculpted sheets and forming an environment of coated steel, pushing their physical limits and reinventing ways of living together. The sculpted characters interact and face each other or the viewer as their presence blurs the line between fiction and reality, humans and mannequins. What Mesquita brings to life is a procession, a form of public celebration and a moment of communion. There is a distinctive boldness in the artist’s gesture and approach to the material and the object, as she transforms rough pieces of metal into a sophisticated ensemble of colored sculptures forming a joyful parade of dancing souls, gives the impression of a deliciously perverse carnival.
For her series Bal Jaune, commissioned in 2016 by the Kunstverein Langenhagen in Germany, Caroline Mesquita produced a series of six colorful sculptures inspired by the eponymous party organized by the Fondation Ricard in Paris every year during FIAC. The works are named after some of the artist’s close friends, Lucile or Dorothée, and form myriad of characters wrapped with touches of lush colors—shinny gold, metallic green, powder pink or smoky blue. Mesquita’s ladies are dancing and swinging until the end of the night, with the energy of these who have seen, in the darkness of the night, the brightness of the sun.
Photo by T-STUDIO and Henrik Blomqvist