In her Lisbon studio, the French artist Stéphane Mulliez contemplates the role of humanity in the urban architectural environment that fascinates her.With a keen eye and a steady hand, she uses photos from magazines to compose collages structured on the tightrope of life.
More than complicity, what Sandra and Stéphane’s “Dialogues” reveal between this duo of artists is a tender and respectful sisterhood, emerging in a game of mirrors where one artist’s work meets the other’s star.
In the very first image, the red thread, wrapped around the body of a simple spool, toys with acute angles and curves. Like Ariadne’s thread, barely there, a strand of music begins to dictate the intimate vibrations of a sewing machine, shackled to its task. And because red calls for black, before we even discover Stéphane at work, we have already begun to weave the strands of her story. Under the artist's gaze, everything makes sense; nothing separates the everyday object from the artwork in motion.
There it is as we pass, the open door of the studio! In the Lisbon light, the spun blood of the spool runs through the artist's veins, brings her instinct to life, traces her wandering thoughts, runs restlessly along the obsessive, mechanical tearing of paper from glossy magazines. A tightrope rises up along the edge of the tear. With the dexterity of a seamstress or a surgeon, Stéphane, armed with her scalpel, creates a slow procession of beings against a backdrop of snow. Collage upon collage, she restores to forgotten Man his garment of humanity.
In the heart of the city, outside her studio, the artist pursues her quest in the angular aesthetics of the housing estates where, separated from themselves, men and women survive. Drunken perspective, blind windows, walls cracked with the immensity of solitude and, out of nowhere, again this thread that balances, energizes, unifies, bravely uniting what is fragile and what is solid, what is immortal and what, apparently, is not. By instilling the salutary confusion of doubt, Stéphane's art might just be able to mend the fragile fabric of our torn humanity, one last fermata before silence on the point of the needle.
Viviane Montagnon, Writer
Viviane Montagnon was born in Lyon and lives in Bresse. She is a writer, an author of songs and theatre, an actor and a singer. One of her works Le Panier de Lucette (Lucette’s Basket), poetic chronicles on rural life published by Éditions Aréopage and renamed Moi, d'osier, plume et soleil! (Me, of wicker, feather and sunshine!) has just been adapted for the stage.
Her latest book Honoré, prefaced by the psychoanalyst Cécile Baudinet, was published in 2020 by L'Astre Bleu.