Marie Losier & David Legrand

Excesso Chamalo

This text was created for the exhibition Excesso Chamalo at Solar - Galeria de Arte Cinemática on the occasion of the 30th edition of Curtas Vila do Conde, International Film Festival from 9 to 17 July 2022.

Exhibition realized within the framework of the year France/Portugal.
Teaser of the exhibition

The artists’ Websites
Marie Losier
David Legrand

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Hello Happiness!
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How can we talk about Marie Losier’s work without mentioning her Bolex camera? This extension of the eye and the hand, with which she has always captured, in film and in 16mm, the magical characters that characterise her cinema. The depth of the medium, its recognisable grain, intrinsically transports us to baroque and baroque atmospheres, a magical place of memory where experimentation, the visceral need to shoot and the love of film make the difference.
The artist textures a polymorphous work that has unfolded in recent years as a complement to her cinema. Yet she retains the same way of creating, from monotypes that increasingly welcome colour, to a taxidermized fabric monster, from photo series of fake holidays to installations sculpted around old rushes. Marie Losier makes portraits. Beyond the people, whom we like to recognize, she draws up portraits of life, of a society, of a border that could become a norm if everyone dared to dream more. It reveals singularities that it is reassuring to discern as the standard of a freedom that still breathes. Drawing and still images have been part of her work for a long time, and she offers them to be seen more and more often. This is enjoyable.
The artist thinks the exhibition as a work of art by itself, a material to be modelled, a hybrid between a film set, the end of a party and a reappraisal of the creative act. Ordinary as a cream cake that becomes a screen, as decorated boxes that hosts looped playlets, as theatre curtains that look at you with a blue gaze. There is a frequent back and forth between true life and the enchanted life of the artworks. Boundaries are blurred.
Friends, lovers, mentors, and accomplices guide the party and shape the artwork. Little by little, for almost 20 years, from New York to Paris, via Berlin, they have all been growing a tribe, a home for creators. They carefully preserve a freedom of seeing and thinking and the spontaneity of doing. They play very seriously, like children do.

Marie Losier loves people, orchestrating encounters, offering and learning with everyone. So, it’s not surprising that, for Excesso Chamalo, she invited the collective artist David Legrand. Both cherish the same philosophy, a generous work as a thread of life, necessary and in community, a tenderness for shared gestures. They are united in their activism, their care for others, for those who do not fit into a box. References and bursts of laughter fly around, and common projects ricochet.
Marie and David use cinema as a medium as filmmakers. It is not a question of making cinema but of diving into fiction. From then on, all imaginings and disguises are possible, all delusions imperious. A majestic tenor in his satin bodice invites us to eat his wig; a magnificent incarnation, he is the pink master, the maestro with his little spoon who propels us into the syrupy fragrances of a waking dream. This joint work, presented at the entrance to the exhibition in La Galerie du Cartable1, opens the eye and the appetite. Excesso Chamalo takes on its full meaning, titillates the desires, and the wanderings are enveloped in a candy sweetness.
What emerges in the universe of the two artists is independence, that of blossoming in a generous and open-minded vision, freeing oneself from the rules and the normative straitjacket, taking pleasure in the work, sharing thoughts, ideas and follies. Their practices also come together in a common interest in low-tech devices, a certain bricolage, dressing up, performing and transforming. They build staging’s and a poetic cinema whose strength is precisely drawn from its bricolage, simple, cheap, camp aspect.

In the Chewingum Bomb installation that David Legrand creates for the exhibition, it is precisely a composite being, linked to the cinema by marshmallow screens, a passage between past, present and future, several elements including a fictional dialogue2 between Duras and Barthes. For a long time, in his research, the artist has cultivated hybridity. He works on the creation of a phrasing, on the transformation of the voice, and elaborates a language that is also composite.

These elements are at the heart of his works, and they are necessarily found in what we do not see, when he directs others with his voice. I like the interstices in the work of artists, the moments where everything is played out – the immediate beauty of the blossoming of a character, when Joseph becomes Marguerite for example. Duras arrives at the moment when Joseph loses his gait3. Of course, there is also Marguerite in Joseph... everything is there, and it’s beautiful.

The distant breath that runs through Marie Losier’s soundtracks is also comforting. An envelope, like the sheet that forms the roof of a hut, a wonderful remembrance, an invitation to escape. L’art de s’égarer ou l’image du bonheur4 [The art of getting lost or the image of happiness].
With this exhibition, the two artists unfold their distinct and common universe. Alternately behind and in front of the camera, they cultivate our capacity to be dazzled, as they tell stories populated by animals, wild, fantastic and hybrid creatures, a Tyrolean hunter, a flying pot, wild Lisbon nights, octopuses in top of heads, marshmallows and glitter.

Since mankind do not know how to exist without hurting itself, making war, being jealous or coveting the land of its neighbours, it always comforts me to see the resistance of the artists. With and thanks to their works, they offer breaths of fresh air, they fight against norms, boxes, castes, genders, codes, self-righteousness, and sticky dogmas. They rebel and remind us that we can choose to protest, to step aside, to think, to look, to collaborate and to love. The energy that Marie Losier propels in her creations, and the generous dynamics of her encounters, creates a protean and festive work. The artist renews herself, her works change; from the first Xerox films to ceramic bear feet, from drawings on rice paper to installations, from video clips to feature films, the body of work expands itself and still retains its essence. Thus, welcoming the other in his joyful madness gives birth to a family, a community constantly in motion, which makes magic, sings, dances, thinks, films, traces, laughs, dresses up and metaphorizes... creates. The exhibition is their home and, fortunately, the world can enter.

— Émilie Flory
Paris, June 2022

1. La Galerie du Cartable is a joint work by Fabrice Cotinat, David Legrand and Henrique Martins-Duarte, created in 1999. This independent video-portable structure is a space for projection and nomadic, performative creation, which, through the Cartable video, allows other creators to be involved.
2. Roland et Marguerite, fictional dialogue n° 7 from La Galerie du Cartable, 2007-2018.
3. See Alain Cavalier’s film, Josèphe, 2018, made during the shooting of Roland et Marguerite, considered as the second part of the film.
4. Reference to the work of David Legrand and Boris Lehman, L’art de s’égarer ou l’image du bonheur, HD colour, 2011- 2014, 46’. Text by Walter Benjamin.

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