À travers une approche résolument processuelle, ma pratique engage à l’exploration du potentiel évocateur de la matière. Je m’intéresse aux espaces de tension entre la concrétude sculpturale — l’expérience de son poids, de son échelle, de son odeur et de sa plasticité — et le caractère impermanent de mes manipulations.

Ma pratique n’est pas strictement orientée vers la réalisation d'objet : elle se réalise à même la manipulation de la matière. Mon travail erre au sein des limites de la discipline sculpturale : réaliser une tresse de vingt mètres à même un champ d’herbes, dessiner le bitume avec des blocs de béton, soulever quarante livres d’argile accrochées à mes cheveux. La matière n’est pas seulement manipulée, mais bien éprouvée par mon corps agissant.

 

Ces corps-à-corps s’inscrivent à travers des enregistrements photographiques et vidéographiques. Les images ainsi obtenues se présentent à la fois comme la documentation d’un processus et comme des photographies résolues dont la composition est aboutie.

My sculptural practice focuses on encounters between myself and various forms of matter. Be it grass, clay, wood, water or rubber, the meaning behind my work emerges as a result of my understanding of the material, an understanding which often occurs on film.

 

My approach involves a variety of hands-on processes: braiding a field of grass, lifting 40 pounds of clay with my hair, extracting one ton’s worth of clay straight out of a riverbed, displaying it, then placing it back in its original context. My actions are always temporary and mindful of their natural surroundings.

 

In my most recent works, I strive to keep the connection between matter and the land, between matter and its transformative potential intact. My actions are so that they can never be wrong, given that the matter itself and its own agency will inevitably and fully complete the work: it will grow through it, transform through it. The materials always lead me to relay my own process to theirs.

 

My works are initiated by desire. It is a desire driven by curiosity, as the creative process is always an event in itself. I need to feel the matter, smell it, touch it, hear it, to be submitted to it, to better understand myself through it. My approach to manipulating matter is hard-labored in that the primary tool I work with is my own body. My physical capacities are what determine the length, scale, weight and duration of each work.

 

These actions that I undertake are translated into photo and video forms. These images are both traces of my process and resolved compositions. They evoke states of transformation where being and doing are one and the same.

All images © Béatrice Boily. All rights reserved.