Sarah Thibault’s sculptures and installations, presented in both galleries and the public space, offer a detailed analysis of the residual power of the ornamental in today’s culture. Borrowing from the vocabulary of the decorative arts and reintegrated into her projects, the ornament is at once a conceptual, critical, and formal operator, influencing how she presents her works and chooses her materials, which include gold leaf, wood, and fabrics, as well as contrasting poorer materials such as bread and straw. This material engagement, as well as magnifying the power of the ornament, draws attention to the persistence of bourgeois and patriarchal values inherent to the design and production of consumer items and to the direct role that design plays in the circulation and reinforcement of these values.
During her residency at Est-Nord-Est, Thibault used as a point of departure for her research a rather ordinary photograph of plants, found near her studio at the centre. The initial photograph was transformed into a kaleidoscopic motif by a succession of symmetrical effects, and then printed on long bands of canvas which were stretched over five frames. The frames, made in the centre’s wood workshop, were adorned with mouldings and then joined to form a screen. During the public presentation that marked the end of the residency, Thibault’s piece stood in front of the large window in her studio, blocking visitors’ view of the outdoors. It thus became a paradoxical form: it functioned to hide a particular view while its own motif made it hyper-visible.
English version coming soon!