Dear Shaded Viewers,
The exhibition AURAe by Sabrina Ratté is a reaction to the overproduction of images that we have all experienced over the 2021-2022 season. It is an exploration of our new relationships with images and shared spaces in a post-lockdown world saturated with digital and visual phenomena. The exhibition/experience commissioned by La Gaite Lyrique uses opaque filters, mirror effects and perspective techniques. The Canadian artist and image maker immerses us in the ambiguous reality of our technological age. “We hope that it may serve as a foil to fictitious scenarios hearlding the apocalypse, a word that etymologically means…unveiling.”
A word from the curator
“For every form, becoming an image means to experience this painless exile from its own place, in a supplemental space that is neither the space of the object nor the space of the subject, but rather one that derives from the first and supports and makes possible the life of the second.”
Emanuele Coccia, The Sensible Life
As an object of human fascination, even fire cannot rival the image, which hypnotizes, enthralls and subdues. Pervasive in our digital lives, images are spreading at an astonishing pace, to the point that they can sometimes cloud our comprehension and leave us disoriented. What if we could recover our clarity of vision by tearing up the veil thrown over our eyes, going beyond the surface to reclaim the substance of images and restore their aura?
Drawing inspiration from web culture and its visual simulations, along with science fiction and architecture, Sabrina Ratté crafts image-spaces to navigate and cross, in which to embed oneself. She polishes their reflective facets like myriad alternative realities that augment our experience of the here and now. And yet at the same time, we are elsewhere. Her art is that of the alchemist, transforming matter into light, illusion into depth. She melds technologies into a poetic hybrid form with holograms, photography, and 3D animation.
A dozen of her works are presented together for the first time as an experience in Aurae, a title that refers both to the images’ halo and an area of spatial metamorphosis. Immense, enveloping, ambiguous. The human element is absent from the colorful projections but reintroduced by visitors—both the stars and supporting cast—who bring their own original, unique perspective to the landscape, which is unveiled as a sculpture with a pearly sheen far superior to the compressed glow of the Internet.
Ratté creates an experience for the body in which symbolic boundaries fade away, through a monumental architectural edifice where sounds echo into the distance and shapes extend beyond their three-dimensional frames. A movement through space that relates our relationship with screens, our desire to pass through them to fuse with what they display, and the ever growing distance that separates us from that world closed off behind the window, which we can see but never touch.
Curated by Jos Auzende
The Aurae – Sabrina Ratté exhibition was produced in collaboration with scenographer and designer Antonin Sorel, and set to visual music by Roger Tellier-Craig and Andrea-Jane Cornell.
AURAe has Sabrina Ratte inventing corporeal landscapes and dream-like architecture that lie somewhere between the physical world and the virtual world in a series of works featuring video projections, animations, prints, photogrammetry, sculptures and spatial installations.
The name AURAe comes from the artist’s first video works and its sun-washed hues (from 2012), as well as the etymology of the word “aura,” which denotes a gentle breeze, a breath, an atmosphere. They are “units of ambiance” to be explored physically. The visitors become an active part of the space. AURAe is presented as a large set of immersive structures and landscapes filled with moving visual matter, which investigates the physical separation between two different realities.
Working in collaboration with the designer Antonin Sorel (scenography) and the musician Roger Tellier-Craig (sound design), Ratté dreamt up a disturbing archipelago—a string of islets and refuges outside the bounds of reality, a procession of utopias destined to materialise.