text by Cédric Fauq

Galerie Sultana, Paris

June 8 – July 21, 2018

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 There is a lot of drama in what Pia Camil puts in front of us, but it’s always a screamless drama, as if suspended: waiting for an upcoming action, the crack. To talk about cracks when approaching Camil’s work, primarly knownfor her manipulation of textiles, seems, in the first place, quite odd - a fabric doesn’t crack, it rips, it tears apart - Butthe artist’s textile pieces, always on the verge of ripping because rethought / repaired from already torned apartmanufactured products, are the holders of potential cracks, questionning the fragility of what sustain us and holdus together.

The promise of the crack, that which holds the potential of the drama, is also the door to theatre. The curtains, costumes and masks could then, suddenly, become alive. They are, actually, full of holes, holes that could act as the nests for organes with various functions. And then, in between holes and cracks, something happens. It’s about gravity: either Camil’s works are in suspension, or they have fallen, they also enable, sometimes, to suspend the fall – that is the case of the masks and hammock -. And the holes, then, allow an escape in the shape of a fall.


And then there’s They, this hybrid character with hard edges in some places - even pointy -, and with other parts streamlined. They is another way for Camil to interrogate the drama of togetherness. Performing for a camera- another hole -, in a desidentified time-space, They doesn’t seem to be at ease. It is difficult to understand if thischaracter which looks like it came straight out of a Beckett play, is seeking to be seen or trying to hide, but some- thing is certain: They wants jam. In a nearly-erotic routine, They is full desire.

The issue of desire, what we desire, as individuals as well as together, is at the core of Camil’s work. Its strenght lies in the tension between formal pleasure, abstracted from any other preoccupations, and the emphasis put onmodes of production which question our relationships to mass production, exploitation and waste: make yourself comfortable at the heart of the hammock in front of you and the questions will arise by themselves.

Der Tank of the Art Institute, Basel
For her first exhibition in France, Wu Tsang has transformed Lafayette Anticipations into a hybrid space that summons the worlds of the night and the sacred. Through this metamorphosis, the visitor is immersed in a mysterious atmosphere where recent and earlier works by the American artist are brought together.
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