In her solo exhibition, Intimate Topographies, Helene Le Chatelier explores the idea and image of the female body as a ‘terra incognita’, an ambiguous terrain open for new, and personal readings. Resisting the conventional male gaze of art history while simultaneously questioning ‘feminine’ attributes and histories, Le Chatelier’s close-up, yet abstracted forms offer up primordial, timeless landscapes, where the intimacy of skin meets the eternity of sky. In other vignettes, these soft and dream-like images are punctuated – and punctured – by embroidered text, the delicate and painstaking sutures serving to yoke the female form to the inevitability of gendered cultural histories and traditions.
A related body of work turns on the metaphor of the Motherland, where the idea of the female body is enmeshed with notions of (national) identity and belonging. Drawing on her sense of dislocation as well as a distant yet ambiguous longing for this ‘motherland’, Le Chatelier laboriously erases parts of old maps of France, leaving only its rivers visible, like veins on flesh. These are maps of fading memories, and yet their regression to ‘virgin territory’ offers up a blank canvas for possibilities to be imagined anew.
The exhibition is curated by Tan Siuli, and co-presented by Intersections & Alliance Francaise.
Venue: La Galerie, Alliance Française de Singapour, 1 Sarkies road, Level 2, Singapore 258130
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 1pm – 7.30 pm; Saturday 9.30 am to 5.30 pm
When: 9 - 27 Mar 2021,
By: Alliance française de Singapour