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Tania Mouraud

1942 | Paris, France
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Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

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French visual and performance artist.

Tania Mouraud distanced herself from the highly cultivated environment she grew up in at a very early age. Upon completing her studies at Saint Martin’s School in Solihull at the age of 17, she remained in London and worked as an au pair. She then spent time Germany, in Düsseldorf, where she made a living from odd jobs, including factory work. She then became acquainted with the contemporary art world and attended performances by Joseph Beuys. In 1963, she began her regular artistic production, featuring performances with social and political connotations, and especially, her first paintings. Yet, she felt the need to incorporate a third element. In 1969, during a public burning performance, she set all of her paintings on fire. She then took a radical shift towards minimalism, confirmed by environments she called “initiation rooms.” The first, One More Night (Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1969-1970), provided a “psychosensory understanding of space,” enhanced by electroacoustic soundscapes.

These spaces, displaying a minimalist design, can be interpreted, in retrospect, as airlocks enabling the transition between the past and the present: the time of experience itself. They act as a sort of rite of passage, as if through them, the artist was reflecting on the direction of her work. They are also intended as “deconditioning” spaces, an important aspect of her work. The artist questions perception and communication, particularly with respect to their relationship with the unspoken: the unspoken in art history, such as, for example, when it comes to reminding us of the existence of the forgotten women artists of the Russian avant-garde, whose names confront those of illustrious men whose names have already been consecrated by history. In 2006, she presented a video installation assembled from films she made of 100 workers in Kerala, India, operating looms or spinning wheels. Her political commitment thus ties her artistic practice to the reality of the world that we must confront responsibly.

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Raphaël Cuir

Translated from French by Toby Cayouette.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, City performance, 1977-1978, urban performance, Paris, 54 silk-screen printed posters, 300 x 400 cm, © Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, Black power, ici là, 1990, acrylic on canvas, © Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, Made in Palace 326/8, 1981, photographic paper, 180 cm x 125 cm, © Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, Le Silence des héros, 1995-96, installation: series of banner, wood, fabric, variable dimensions, each individual pole: 200 x 2 x 2 cm, fabric: 77 cm (black flags) and 94 cm (red flags), © Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, HCYS?, 2005, digital print on banner, 15 x 30 m, © Photo: Rémi Villaggi, ©Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, Initiation room n°5, 1969-1992, wood, white gloss paint, light, 458 x 1000 x 175 cm, © Photo: Tania Mouraud, © Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, Ad Nauseam, 2012-2014, video HD 1920, random sound broadcasting program, © Photo: Tania Mouraud, © Ircam, Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, Balafres 7-8-9, 2014, 44 x 150 cm, coloured ink on FineArt paper, © Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, Balafres 107-111, 2014, 40.8 x 185 cm, coloured ink on FineArt paper, © Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

Tania Mouraud — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Tania Mouraud, CQNPSRLPSCALR (CEUXQUINEPEUVENTSERAPPELERLEPASSESONTCONDAMNESALEREPETER), 2014, digital print on banner, 43.68 x 5.05 m, © Photo: Marc Domage, © Tania Mouraud, © ADAGP, Paris

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