Marion Tampon Lajarriette at Gallery Skopia, Geneva
Karine Tissot, text for Flash Art Magazine, 12.2012
Between dream and reality, title the Marion Tampon-Lajarriette’s triptych suspended vertically in the Skopia Gallery was perfectly found: The Sleepwalker (Le Somnambule, 2012). Taken as far as from an airplane, the views filmed by the artist are as three pictures where human beings are reduced to small fragile items. On the left hand side, a ship leaks in a storm without any helicopter coming to rescue; in the middle, a parachute as big as an insect is floating in the air and is spinning downwards; and on the right hand side, a house is slowly but really swallowed by an earthflow. Rain, snow and clouds punctuate these scenes filmed primarily with a plunging perspective. The meteorological “texture” of the three panels make uniform this threatening scenario with a monochrome in blue-gray. There is inevitably a reminder of the cinema world in the format as much as in the medium used. But all the images are virtual, created entirely in "the box" of the computer. A disaster expressed in images, like a daydream or a sleepwalker’s night wandering deeply immersed in his sleep. Like Antichthones (2012) presented more modestly on a monitor, there is the idea of a friction between fiction and reality to obtain relevant images without using exclusively the narration. Antichthones replays inlaying effects, well known tricks in cinema before the advent of the digital, and puts colours of a silhouette of a young woman - the artist herself? – against long corridors with black and white rooms of a castle shot in 1961 by Alain Renais in L’Année dernière à Marienbad. This is not the first time that the French girl uses this film to develop a project. Without saying that she’s a film buff, Marion Tampon-Lajarriette draws on the repertoire of cinema to create a world that is both referenced and plastically always singular. If the sources are not always easy to recognize, this is because the purpose lies elsewhere: "I use cinema to challenge our imagination." Thus the serie Erehwon (2012), in other words Nowhere, brings in a horizontal balanced format an upper part taken from a film set and a lower part created by the artist. If this second part engages the viewer always in a specific direction, the setting throws into confusion with a shifted chronology. Once again, the eye is literally caught in the renewed scenario of Marion Tampon-Lajarriette.