The Art of Marianne Magne

by Silke TudorPosted on

Marianne Magne should be the hero in an H.P. Lovecraft story: A bold beautiful French explorer who is able to reach between the folds of our common human experience, wrestle with the creatures she finds there, and drag their haunting images from just beyond the fringe. Using cibachrome, a dye destruction positive-to-positive photographic process which Magne transfers to aluminum and manipulates, a frozen television frame reveals a man locked in the torment of an eternal underworld; a photograph of a beautiful young woman is scarcely but poignantly recognizable as her soft tissue gives way to a crouching spirit of only slightly malevolent mien. Human forms seem to emerge from the textures of rust, charcoal, and dusky light, only to be reabsorbed. Abstraction becomes refraction and though the effect is beautiful and unshakeable, it is often quite dark.

In one series, inspired by human body parts (her own and those of friends), pictures have been manipulated, deconstructed, and reconstructed (burning, scratching, drawing) over the course of many years, making for a near-organic evolution of form that slips between microcosmic and extraterrestrial. Magne’s short films and sculptures inhabit a similar plane between the earthly and the ethereal, and are often rooted in a single photograph taken decades earlier. It is an interconnected world of fantasy and ancestry where cells easily morph into intergalactic cephalopods, and bones become cathedrals that inspire myths. – Silke Tudor

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