Memory and material
We speak of the memory of materials in the sense that they are capable of recalling an ancient form, or keeping a new form. They have no true history, because that would imply a conscience and a narrative, however minimal. Even in general, as shown in Bergson’s Matter and Memory of 1896, as memory requires a material substrate, like life or thought of which it is but a synonym, it cannot then be understood as a thing.
This is the perennial problem of the relationship between mind and body, from Descartes to Bergson and in the cognitive sciences. Yet some materials record human memory, its history […].
The concrete of Milène Guermont affects us like archival papers, but also in other ways, using our experiences and our sensory and aesthetic memory in the etymological sense. For a number of years this singular artist has complex technological practices to animate this inanimate material – the world of matter.

 

Émilie Bouvard
Art Historian and Curator at Picasso Museum of Paris, 2012

 

 

 

 

A love letter to forget

 

Creased, crumpled: to forget.
What is this mail wasting away?
Nothing is unchanging or impenetrable: even this concrete is going to bend.

A flexible concrete was developed to create this work.

 

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WAVY crawls, topples and takes off to escape from the workshop.

The top side of this concrete sheet is perfectly smooth.
On the underside, a landscape of irregular craters appears.
This WAVY is one of the characteristic illustrations of my work on ambivalence:

  • simple design but complex shape,
  • raw, heavy, inert material but poetic evocation of a light and live work,
  • poured all at once into a perfectly smooth mold but a different result on each of its faces,
  • serial manufacturing by the same technique but each work is unique.

 

A feather in Craters Concrete takes its flight in four beats:

During the art event NUIT BLANCHE, it is raining in St. Merri Church. It is raining concrete... feathers.
A fragile and contradictory balance between harmony and chaos appears with this rain of feathers that are made of virtual Craters Concrete.

To discover feathers and angels which are moving between paintings and furniture, you have to explore all of the space:
- large feathers are falling from the sky; some sway back and forth towards the floor while others are going down hastily,
- clouds of small feathers are vibrating under the wings of numerous sculptures and paintings of angels,
- virtual angels are speaking and flapping their wings.
Every ten minutes you can hear the sound of the rain.
Is it the deluge? The feathers are now falling in a downpour.
Is it due to the angels who are raging?

 

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Concept

 

Installation

 

The artwork during Nuit Blanche

 

Photographs