La main et l’oeil, Louvre Plage and Compositions synesthétiques - Laurence Aëgerter

25 November - 6 January at Galerie Caroline O'Breen
Laurence Aëgerter (FR, 1972)

Laurence Aëgerter has been doing visual research into the power of images for years. She questions the processes of perception and investigates different strategies to activate them. Her favorite areas of research, however, are great icons of Western culture as 'found images' on Internet search engines. For her exhibition at Galerie Caroline O'Breen, Aëgerter presents for the first time her project Louvre Plage (2020) and the complete series of her Compositions synesthétiques (2016-2020). Both series are based on masterpieces from the ancient times to the 16th century, the former using sculptures and painting, and the latter using engraving. Her love for the original works is the driving force behind the play of lines and objects she adds. Each image is created after a long search of seemingly endless possibilities and where every millimeter makes a surprisingly big difference in search of a form of naturalness.

With Louvre Plage, Aëgerter has arranged objects found on her favorite beach in Marseille where she grew up into the illustrations of the book Les Merveilles du Louvre (Hachette, Paris, 1958). She creates images that on the one hand demystify the iconic masterpieces and on the other hand transform the wonder about the everyday.

Her research for Louvre Plage has been gathered as momentum in its entirety. The photographs have been collected in an archive box, each sheet printed in the original size of the publication that is the source of this work. In addition, Aëgerter presents the enlargement of the individual images, emphasizing the different materials such as the grid of the printed paper, stone or wood and giving the overall image a new materiality. 

For Compositions synesthétiques, Aëgerter has drawn lines about ten of her favorite engravings by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) in a game between intuition and reason (somewhat inspired by her art history studies). In addition to the lines, she has also experimented with color and various texture effects for her compositions. Her compositions are printed in the true format of the originals and then meticulously screen printed in tangible lines (gravel, braille and rubber). The Compositions synesthétiques are works of art that can be viewed and touched. In the title, Aëgerter refers to synesthesia, a phenomenon in which some individuals have a multi-sensory experience.

The extensive oeuvre of Laurence Aëgerter (FR, 1972) comprises photographic series, artist books, multiples, site-specific installations, textile works, and community projects. Aëgerter makes inventive use of archives and existing images from illustrated books to museum collections, in a transcultural and transhistorical practice reflecting on the meaning of the image in relation to identity and collective memory.

She has exhibited in several international solo and group shows and made site-specific installations and art in community projects following commissions from a number of cities and museums.

Recent solo exhibitions include: Ici mieux qu-en face, Petit Palais, Paris (Oct 2020–Jan 2021); Night Hunt Machinery of Me, Arnhem (March 2020­–Aug 2020), Le Louvre, MAMAC, Nice; Arithmetic of photographic perception, Forum für Fotografie, Cologne; Herbarium Cataplasma, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden; The Modernists and More, Hermitage Museum, Amsterdam.

Recent group shows: From Here On Arts, Santa Monica Museum, Barcelona/FoMu, Antwerp/Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles; 5th Lagos Photo Festival Nigeria; Making Africa, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem; and Quick scan II, Nederlands Fotomuseum.

Aëgerter won the Nestlé International Prize for Photography, Festival Images Vevey 2015 and the Author Book Award at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles 2018.

Her works are in various private and public collections, including the Paul Getty Center Los Angeles, The New York Public Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Dolhuys Museum of the Mind, Haarlem, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Museum van Loon, Amsterdam, MAMAC, Nice and BnF Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris.

Image: courtesy of Galerie Caroline O'Breen

Conversation between art historian Huigen Leeflang and artist Laurence Aërgerter (FR, 1972) (livestream)
Sunday 29 November 


Laurence Aëgerter, Digitalis ambigua i.a., Normandy France, From the series ‘Healing Plants for Hurt Landscapes’, 2015 Ultrachrome print 24,5 x 20 cm
Laurence Aëgerter, Digitalis ambigua i.a., Normandy France, From the series ‘Healing Plants for Hurt Landscapes’, 2015 Ultrachrome print 24,5 x 20 cm

Edition Amsterdam Art Gallery Weekend
Healing Plants for Hurt Landscapes -Digitalis ambigua i.a. – Normandy, France + book
by Laurence Aëgerter (FR, 1972)

This photograph is part of my series Healing Plants for Hurt Landscapes, from a collaborative project realised in 2015 with the inhabitants of the Olde Galilea neighbourhood in Leeuwarden.
From the green pharmaceutical garden we applied medicinal plants onto images of destroyed landscapes from around the world, investigating together the power of symbolic gestures.’

Healing Plants for Hurt Landscapes is an offspring of Herbarium Cataplasma, a two-fold community art project that Laurence Aëgerter did at the invitation of the city of Leeuwarden in Friesland, the Netherlands. Aëgerter led a careful reconstruction of the plan of the medicinal garden of the medieval Abbey of Saint Gall on an unused plot of land in Leeuwarden which was once part of a convent. This project was realized in collaboration with the local residents. Aëgerter also invited the residents for a symbolical healing ritual of destroyed landscapes. She selected 100 images by searching Google for news photographs of a diversity of disasters in different parts of the world. Aëgerter took photographs of these landscapes to be healed. Participants were then invited to treat these landscapes with the medicinal plants from the garden, each one with the appropriate antidote found in the library or by through their own experience (e.g. ginger against pain in burns). Through this plants and landscapes became merged into a new image. These images appear in the form of a newspaper, as well as a series of large photographs.
Framed in off white fineer on aluminium with museum glass.

Edition of 30 (print), edition of 1.000 (book)
Price: print and book: €275 including VAT
Size: 24,5 x 20 cm
The Edition of the Amsterdam Gallery Weekend can be purchased online via the gallery. Please see their contact information listed on the right side of this page.

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