Les soirées fantastiques
May 4 – May 27, 2016
The series “Les soirées fantastiques” began life during an artist’s residency in Paris and sees La Perrière exploring the boundaries between the fantastic and the illusory, the perceived real and the world of dreams. The works offer us entry into a cohesive environment built of charcoal drawings, paper objects and cuttings, presenting dreamlike figures and narratives. This study of the limits of reality and the limits of perception emerges out of the artist’s research into ancient texts on magic and illusion. The series draws on the visual language of the nineteenth-century Parisian Phantasmagorias, immensely popular magic shows that brought together shadow puppetry, conjuring tricks, immersive sound effects and elements of horror.
Continuing in this theme, the artist tests the structure of the visible and of perceptions – of the self and of the other – in the relationship between the individual, technology, and nature as well as in the experience of magic.
Equipped with masks and camouflage, figures seem to appear and disappear, their bodies fading to nothing. Between psychological disguises and ethereal apparitions, these images build into narratives of representation, of concealment, of reflections, glamour and shadow.
The enigmatic works of “Les soirées fantastiques” are not quite what they seem.
Phatasmagoria show, 18th century