Denise Sabourin

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My work’s most decisive contribution lies in its affirmation that perception is in itself a complete and sufficient work of art.
This independence from the new media allows me to deal with all the stages of contemporary artistic thinking by applying a strategy that operates not only on form but also on the concept itself.
I use sites, corporeal or social, as fields for sociological and psychological experimentation.

The piece of work is a dialogue between what can be seen but dims as soon as it is seen through the picture transfers, and the unseen which outlasts through the colours and threads of the embroidery.

This is how I view the works that I have created with and for social groups, which consist in a collective action or include a written inscription. Writing in this context destabilizes the aesthetic aspects of the work and reinforces the work as an event.
Writing provides a warning ; it signals, specifying and insisting on signification. It controls meaning.

"The contemporary aesthetic has no meaning unless it takes into account vernacular forms and rituals as well as traditional teachings.
The act of creating surely consists in delving into this heritage of the human race, guided by chance, needs or encounters, and digesting and rereading what one gathers there by using one’s own subjectivity."

Les Cahiers du Channel, n°16

Bodies have long been painful, showing the wounds of life through the gauze of their bandages and then, through radiography, revealing internal portraits, the unseen parts of bodies that are nevertheless their most vital aspects…
Today Denise Sabourin has moved from the doctor’s examining room to the arena of performance to present us with portraits of herself and her entourage ; models organizing their own scenography, surprised by photography in their context of society, light and landscape and afterwards reworked by the artist.
A succession of filtering operations through translucent fabrics, photographic revelation and theatrical acts ; this alchemy harks back to the mannerist inventions of another troubled time.

"I do not paint being, I paint passage", wrote Montaigne. Parodying the Aquitaine author who painted with his pen, Denise Sabourin becomes the master of passage, a revealer surely, and perhaps an initiator.

Geneviève Calatayud, Art historian

translated by Andrew Hales and Ysé Dalgrant
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