Valérie Mréjen explores language while drawing on short, everyday stories — misunderstandings, childhood memories, cruel or comic details of existence. By shaking up the basis of communication, she casts a new perspective on human relations. Her videos take the form of brief scenes that stage individuals within a fixed frame, most of the time sitting Her videos take the form of brief scenes that stage individuals within a fixed frame, most of the time sitting in a spare decor. In Dieu (2004) she gathers testimonials of Israelis who share stories about their passage from radical Judaic practice to secular life and the upheavals they confront with their families and society.
Born in Paris, France, in 1969
Lives and works in Paris
Since the mid-1990s,Valérie Mréjen has been exploring language and its fault lines using stories taken from daily life; these encompass misunderstandings, childhood memories, and cruel or comical details of existence. Mréjen’s videos, which take the form of brief playlets, feature individuals within a fixed frame, usually seated on a bare set. Composed of colloquial expressions, their dialogues or monologues are delivered in a neutral tone (often by non-professional actors) and evoke the banal and the dramatic as well as the absurd and the cruel. Mréjen thus undermines the limits of communication and gives a different view of human relations. In her series Portraits filmés (2002–2003), she asks friends to relate memories which, told in a detached way, seem paradoxically more fictional than real. Chamonix (2002) presents actors playing short scenes written by the artist. These amusing but disconcerting stories highlight the difficulties of daily communication. In Dieu (2004), Mréjen assembles testimonials by Israelis who, in recounting the personal transformations involved in the shift from radical Judaism to lay life, expose the social and family upheavals they faced. In Manufrance (2005), Mréjen reveals one woman’s daily activities using photographs from the Manufrance catalogue of the 1970s. The images,which follow each other like the plates in a photographic novel, take on a dramatic tone as a neutral off-screen voice lists off domestic and leisure activities.
OCCURRENCE, ESPACE D’ART ET D’ESSAI CONTEMPORAINS
460, STE-CATHERINE W. ESPACE 307
[SEPT. 07, 2007 – OCT. 13, 2007]
OPENING FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 07, 2007 AT 8:30 PM | WEDNESDAY TO SATURDAY FROM 12 PM TO 5 PM