View of the collective work of La terre embrasse le sol by Tiphaine Calmettes, ENS Lyon, 2019, raw earth. Photo: Tiphaine Calmettes.
Bétonsalon presents Primordial Soup, a solo exhibition by Tiphaine Calmettes curated by Émilie Renard, co-produced by AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions, in partnership with d.c.a, association française de développement des centres d’art contemporain. Tiphaine Calmettes is the winner of the 2020 AWARE Prize.
Tiphaine Calmettes creates a new series of sculptures that allow you to sit down to taste a drop of kombucha, drink a flower tea kept warm in a gargoyle’s stomach, help yourself to broth from a hollow amidst bread crusts, smell the warm redolence of all this cuisine, follow trickles of water as they dribble out of a monster’s mouth, observe ochre light filtered through a dried kombucha starter, feel the earthy cavities of the surfaces around….
These sculptures are assemblages of previous experiences, works or rejects that have not completed their metamorphosis: under their own inertia and due to wear and tear, some materials give way under their own weight, or seep, crack or evaporate as they are sensitive to heat. All of them are doomed to be further transformed after the exhibition. Whether shaped by skilful hands or left in their initial state, they undergo involuntary transformations on their own. These versatile shapes have not only ingested the various strata of the artist’s work, they have also experienced motifs from distant periods–anthropomorphic utensils, stony plants, animals with pouring lips… –an entire monstrous bestiary drawn from a sort of imaginary natural history.
“Primordial soup” is a term associated with a scientific theory that says that life on Earth is the result of spontaneous generation within a milieu warm and sticky enough to allow life to arise. A whole ecosystem sustains itself in this primordial soup. These sensory sculptures that seem to have emerged from a troglodyte kitchen, turn Bétonsalon into an inhabitable place. Thanks to them, Bétonsalon settles into a sort of telluric domesticity.
Tiphaine Calmettes, Primordial Soup
Bétonsalon – centre d’art et de recherche
From May 20 until July 23, 2022
Open from Wednesday to Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 2pm-7pm
9, esplanade Pierre Vidal-Naquet