MLF | Marie-Laure Fleisch is pleased to present Éloge de la ligne, a dialogue between the singular worlds of Safaa Erruas and Katharina Hinsberg. On View from January 14 to February 26. Their initial sources of inspiration differ but each artist has developed a unique talent for revealing the sculptural potential of paper. Devoid of garish colors that might distract from the essential, Safaa Erruas’ minimalist creations are of a fragile nature. This phenomenon, which runs through all her work, is expressed by linking contradictory elements; each time a subtle line is drawn between the intimate and the collective. That discrete boundary is also present in Katharina Hinsberg’s work, this time between her meticulous, series-specific protocols and the spontaneity of her drawing. Thus the artist can explore the infinite conceptual qualities of drawing, without ever limiting it to its own confines. In this exhibition, the unexpected marriage between works in neutral tones makes for a meditative journey; the human element only remains present through the extreme meticulousness of the skills put down on paper.
When one observes a composition by Safaa Erruas, one quickly realizes that they are made with mundane objects: pins, threads, etc. These materials allow the artist to realize work related to personal experience while also leaning on the collective unconscious. The introspection necessary to the repetition and the precision of her artistic gesture lends these drawings an intimate dimension; the innumerable perforations appear like an allegory of the silent wounds which we all carry. This feeling is often accentuated by the emergence of innumerable threads which imply the other side of a decor that refuses to be revealed publicly. But the psychological borders Erruas evokes, with which she wishes to retranscribe a universal emotion, are also spatial. The organic forms of her work are reminiscent of the maps that the artist likes to call “geographical tracings”. Torn or distorted, these reworked maps seem to evoke the paradox of our time: our perpetual desire to move, hindered by imaginary lines drawn by humans.
Katharina Hinsberg’s practice is primarily three-dimensional and often involves a site-specific installation; sometimes her lines even extend onto the exhibition walls. Her paper works are a tangible trace of her organized process of deconstructing drawing. For Hinsberg, drawing is the materialization of a thought that begins as soon as her hand comes into contact with the material. The manual aspect is therefore crucial to her practice: the artist considers her hand to be a tool among many others. This line of thought brings her to sometimes cover her fingers with colored wax: the right hand becomes a conscious pencil while the left hand accompanies her intuitively, offering happy findings that can only be obtained by losing control. Each series functions according to a pre-established system that allows Hinsberg to explore different line renderings, and in which the paper never is an end in itself. In her Schraffen series, for example, the freely drawn red lines have been meticulously cut out and are held to the paper only by a few points of contact to their white grids, which appear as the structuring framework for dynamic experimentation.
In the tireless repetition of movement implied by the two artists’ practices, there is something of the order of weaving, a term derived from the Latin texere (to write). It is not surprising then that Safaa Erruas sometimes depicts words. These come from multiple official sources, mainly regarding migration in the Mediterranean Sea. These speeches, perfectly constructed and intended to be hopeful, nevertheless tend to eventually have the same purpose: to restrict our movements. Language is also important to Katharina Hinsberg, but in her case, it is the titles of her series that speak. The term Perceiden for example refers both to meteorites (the Perseids) and to the verb “to perceive”, a poetic way of signifying the different narrative layers hidden in her work. The monochrome aspect of the creations in this exhibition stems less from a desire for neutrality than from a desire to maintain perfect flexibility of mind. The detachment implied by these unadorned artistic worlds shows an increased vigilance towards processes in which masterful, simple gestures transform our imagination thanks to the meeting of different forms and materials.