ElI JIMENEZ LE PARC – Connections
30.10/17 – 26.11.17
Eli Le Parc has conceived her exhibition as a visual and sound journey, through which she explores various spiritual and religious themes.
The Mandala, a veritable leitmotive in her Artwork, is a Sanskrit term, meaning “circle”, “sphere”, “community”. It has its origins in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Drawing inspiration from Talismanic Art and Geometric abstraction, The artist uses the symbolism of Chakras, representing different levels of consciousness. The Dream-Catcher, instrument of shamanic power in Native American rituals, acts as a filter, chasing away bad energies and bad dreams. Thus, the exhibition is conceived as a pathway leading to higher forms of consciousness, enabling us to reconnect with the Universal. The artist will be our guide.
The practice of textile making is inextricably linked to Ancient Mythologies, in which tales of weavers and spinners are retold.
These find echoes in the work of contemporary creators. There are numerous examples of contemporary textile artists: Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks, Chiharu Chiota, or Christian Boltanski.
Mandalas, realised in sand, ( Job Koelewijn/ “Nursery Piece”) or digitally, ( Loris Gréaud) re-appear regularly in contemporary artworks. Eli Le Parc constructs her works, using a variety of macramé techniques, placing herself in the middle of her circles and, turning as she weaves, creates a circular “ mise en abyme”. Mandalas, symbolic representations of cosmic energies and the functioning of the universe, linked to our mind and spirit,are supports for meditation techniques. Eli Le Parc considers them as offerings to the visitors to the exhibition.
In this exhibition, the artist presents new artworks which are also representations of the sacred. The layout of the exhibition, occupying all the space of the gallery, leads us to see and experience the main chakras,
these points of energy exchange in our bodies. The works are arranged in such a way that the visitors can move about freely, following the rhythms of the different chakras. Kaleidoscopic visions enchant the viewer into states of “ineffable rapture” (to quote André Gide/ “ Si le grain ne meurt”)
The geometric pieces on the walls (talismans) echo the textile sculptures.
Visitors will be encouraged to take Polaroid photos of the textile sculptures. These photos will gradually create a wall of photos, multiplying and reflecting the images of the exhibition.
In the second, smaller, space , plunged in darkness, a luminous rose window symbolizes a higher state of consciousness.
The textile sculptures are also Inner Mind Maps, links to Eli’s birthplace, Panama, and to other places in the world where she has lived. The exhibition is , therefore, also autobiographical. Eli’s creative process is deliberately meditative and repetitive: she seeks to reduce the links that attach her to a former life.
Can Art be Spiritual? And is there a place for spirituality in our lives? Seminars, organized in Paris in 2003 and in Strasbourg in 2011, tried to answer these questions. In 2008, the exhibition “Sacred Traces” at the Pompidou Center in Paris showed the evolution of the sacred in the History of Art. But isn’t our definition of “ Sacred” changing in the 21st Century?
In her memoir on contemporary Textile Art, Julie Crenn (Contemporary Textile Art/ in search of cultural relevance/ Montaigne university/ Bordeaux 2012) wrote:
“In Textile Art, we are experiencing a return to collectively shared ideas, a return to the Human, in all its diversity and differences. Textile Arts are inspiring, poetic, esthetic, political and social, knowing no frontiers, like the clothes we wear that accompany us in our daily travels. In Textile Arts, we perceive the ever-changing History of the World. When an artist creates an Artwork using textiles, he/she is aware of the range and reach of the chosen textiles, made respecting the specific codes of the chosen technique.”
This affirmation is even more valid today. Eli Le Parc ‘s artworks, woven and knotted with rhizome fibers, question our relationship with “ Reality”. In the digital era, we are all “linked and “connected”, but these links are unreal, imaginary: they structure our lives in an artificial way. As social and political statements, Textiles testify to our way ofbeing in the world.