Both Sides Now

The installation, Both Sides Now, is composed of sculptures in reclaimed lace, cast in ceramic plaster with vinyl and fiberglass additives, on partial galvanised wire frames. The work consists of 15 round forms that evoke clouds, when shown together.

The lace, which was originally used for tablecloths, bed covers, curtains, veils and doilies, was produced locally (nearby Puy En Velay, Haute-Loire, was one of the most important sites for lace-making in France from the 16th-19th centuries). Today a highly specialized craft, lace-making employed over 120 000 dentellières in the region at the turn of the 1870s. Whereas lace machines took over the commercial manufacture of lace at the turn of the century, this artwork evokes the complex relationship between individual artisanal production and today’s more common mechanized processes.

In the artwork, a material that would have been hand-made and is today more commonly machine-made, is processed and cast by hand to become a one-of-a-kind object. The back-and-forth between artisanal sculptural techniques and mechanical textile production is a form of dialogue implying that contemporary visual forms cannot come from a pure tradition of individual artistic achievement and that modern object-making always involves making with machines.

The installation was produced for and initially shown during the International Biennial of Design in Saint-Etienne, whose 2019 theme ME YOU NOUS focused on design as a meeting-space for different kinds of cultural production.

L’installation conçue spécialement pour l’exposition Raw Materials a comporté des moulages caricaturaux de plâtre en forme de nuages façonnés à l’aide des textiles anciens (des nappes et des rideaux en dentelle) récupérés par l’artiste dans la région Rhône-Alpes. Le titre fait référence à la célèbre chanson Both sides, now de Joni Mitchell où les nuages sont une métaphore des moments de joie et de chagrin vécus par l’artiste au présent comme au passé, sans pour autant être capable de les connaître vraiment.