Pauline Brun began her training in classical and contemporary dance at the Conservatoire Régional de Nice before entering the École Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques, the Villa Arson, and then the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris where she developed her work in sculpture, installation and video. It is since her plastic research that she redirects herself towards dance and performance and integrates the ex.e.r.ce training at the National Choreographic Center of Montpellier. There, she experimented with stage space, developed a choreographic work and began various collaborations on dramaturgical and scenographic issues. Invited for the Museum On/Off exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2016, she wrote the performance GRAND BAIN for the space of the permanent collection. For the Nuit Européenne des Musées at MAC VAL, she presents the performance ÉTALON PAR DÉFAUT. She also participates in group exhibitions with installations and videos. In addition, she is a performer, accompanies the staging or designs spaces for choreographers Fanny De Chaillé, Paula Pi, Pauline Simon, Ingrid Berger Myhre and Gaetan Bulourde.
To approach Pauline Brun’s work, one would have to start immediately by isolating two spaces: the physical, geographical or architectural one, the one that finally delimits, and the more metaphysical one, of creation, of the very logic of the work in progress. These two spaces have their own parameters. They have their own rules and laws and allow the artist to operate within a framework that imposes its limits, the contexts that govern it. Pauline Brun’s work is therefore an attempt to apply within these limits, a succession of operations, gestures that will push back these boundaries and in doing so, erase them to create a third space which is that of the work.
A space that will bring them all together to capture, in one movement, the vibrations and friction of elements that at first seemed to be isolated, but which suddenly, and together, make sense. If we isolate from the start two spaces, perhaps we can also evoke two gestures which are their own: the turning around, and the injection of narrative processes. Pauline Brun’s works are thought for spaces. It will always be a work that will echo the place that is supposed to house it. Thus, the challenge of the work is to use the constraints of the place in order to bring about an upheaval that I call here inversion. Here, a wooden plank is transformed into a suspended surface, a necessity of the form by the action of the paint which imposes its weight and these physical properties for a drying time. There the walls or partitions are used as raw material for the elaboration of a sculpture, of which one could not say whether it is a sculpture or the base waiting for his work. It seems that the wall itself has set itself in motion and in movement and that, in a great effort, it has managed to push back the material that encircled and constituted it, thus extracting itself from its condition. The space itself, caught in its physical constraints, is thus treated as a material that the artist comes to sculpt as he pleases, pulling, twisting and pushing it to the extreme. Isolating these elements, taking them out of their initial context and turning them over to make them what they are not, is therefore to ask the question of what they are. It is by asking this question that narrative games begin. The artist voluntarily leaves his trace in the manipulation of these spaces, and plays with it. Blurring the tracks, creating false ones, erasing some, accentuating the line at times. Isolating the constituent material from the space and treating it as an object is to give it a body. The works and the space thus bear the traces of their own history, of which we can never say whether they are part of a fiction or document the actual realization of the plastic work. A body bearing the stigmata of a game or a confrontation between it and the artist. A whole poetic and imaginative vocabulary is thus deployed which makes the bodies reason among themselves, the materials and the forms. The cut-out of the partition reveals the wall that supports it, thus stratifying the architecture of the White Cube to better reveal its double belonging, in time and space, to the theoretical and architectural universe. In the same gesture, the White Cube returns to its condition as a historical object, the one that can be told.
And if the artist leaves traces, proofs of her passage, it is because Pauline Brun’s work is ultimately nothing other than the practice of these spaces. It is through the experience of manipulating these different objects that the work appears. It is because the partition of the wall has become sculpture, that the space can be read in its poetic dimension, revealing the story it carries, a story that would not have been revealed if the artist’s gesture had not discovered it. It is thus indeed a base that one observes, the very one that supports the practice and the experience which, thus, joined together in a gesture make work. In the end, it is through the body, and through the body of the artist so often staged or brought into play in her work (and we suddenly make the link between this red surface taken in her time off and the costume that the artist wears in some of her videos, a work that is not presented here and which therefore allows the time necessary to clean and dry the costume), that Pauline Brun unveils the spaces in which her work takes shape. And it is through the experience of these spaces that she manages to create the one in which the work of art unfolds.
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