Claire Trotignon’s practice questions the future of our society. Through collage and the rearrangement of dozens of fragments collected from 18th century engravings, she recomposes refined landscapes, places where void and figures equally matter. In Les particules mécaniques, she uses the shape of the old world map as imagined by the encyclopaedists. But instead of giving a coherent representation of the world, she reproduces landscapes where nature and culture collide. By playing on the codes of representation, she also suggests that human knowledge is entering a period of doubt and crisis, at a time when its overabundance through social medias is radically transforming the notion of image and information.
The artist was born in 1985 in Paris, where she lives and works. She graduated with honours from the École supérieure des beaux-arts in Tours in 2008, and has become one of the most talented artists of her generation. All her work revolves around a questioning of codes that drive our reality. Through her huge installations and series of drawings, collages and photographs, she holds to this practice of shaking up the ‘here and now’. She collects fragments of antique prints and reconstructs fictional, almost heroic landscapes. Working from a hodgepodge of different scales, she introduces fragments of modernist architecture, reactivating the ambiguities unique to our culture. She offers to our view an almost idyllic landscape, floating freely in space. Modernists, in their beyond-the-human trappings, remain a destructive force, a reflection of ruin. But once the modernists are removed by the new order of hyper-capitalism, what happens then? How should we consider our part in the world when all the signs show the imminence of their replacement? It is this colossal challenge that Claire Trotignon tries to respond to. The utopian buildings she peoples with her representations teach the process of a form of idealism that modern capitalism uses to hold us to its mercantile purposes. So we have to see a kind of re-enchantment with the visible in these works. With exceptional delicacy, Claire Trotignon indicates to us that the image may still be, not the sum of its ordinary places, but the place of the ordinary.