Science and fantasy collide in the precocious French artist’s challenging debut exhibit.
It’s an impressive feat for an artist to have their own exhibit at the age of 30, but it’s thoroughly well deserved for French artist Marguerite Humeau, whose work is currently on display at the Palais de Tokyo. Half rooted in mythology, half in fantasy, the pieces exposed here powerfully stimulate the senses and evoke a pretty inspiring (if sometimes baffling) dream-like universe.
There’s also a strong scientific side to her work, which is the result of painstaking collaboration with experts during her research. When preparing for ‘L’Opéra des creatures préhistoriques’, for example, in order to faithfully recreate the noises of extinct animals like mammoths, Humeau met with palaeontologists, zoologists, vets and radiologists.
The way the resulting artwork is set up is like nothing we’ve ever seen before: acting ‘like Indiana Jones in the Google era’, as the artist puts it, its construction involved her fashioning synthetic vocal organs from Plexiglas tubes and membranes from latex. The end product is probably the most perplexing and inventive element in a consistently gripping exhibit that straddles millennia of human history.
TRANSLATION: FLORA HUDSON