Exhibition - MOIS OFF
Galerie Maria Lund
Mois de la Photo OFF
A whole section of Western art and literature attributes a “kind innocence” to nature. Far from the idyllic vision of Paradise Lost, Helene Schmitz focuses on the more obscure side of nature, on its insatiable, menacing, – sometimes – cruel aspects, and the representations we make of it, the projections we associate with it.
The series Sunken gardens deals with something lost : rare traces evoking human presence are dominated, and almost on the edge of being absorbed, by a Nature out of control.
The Carnivores project originates in the artist’s fascination for the predator botanicals, confronting given ideas about the beautiful, peaceful and passive plant which on the contrary attract, catch and devour their victims.
With the poetry of Sunken gardens and the realist beauty of Carnivores, the artist questions these fascinating spaces where nature and culture meet and overlap. She takes us to secret, captivating universes, awakening mixed feelings of both attraction and anxiety.
Helene Schmitz was born in Sweden in 1960. She currently lives and works in Stockholm. She graduated in History of art and Cinema and teaches Photography, focusing on her own creations in the nineties. Since then, she regularly shows her work, mainly in Scandinavia. In France, her works have been exhibited on several occasions : in Mois de la Photo (1996) the Swedish Cultural Centre showed a very moving series Living rooms about her childhood home devastated after a fire. In 2007 in Paris, the Jardin des Plantes hosted an open air exhibition of her works. This spring for Transphotographiques the Palais Rameau in Lille exhibited her series Blow Up – portraits of very large scale flowers where the personality of each specimen seems revealed. Presentations of Helene Schmitz’s work have also taken place in the USA, South America and Japan.
Part of her activity is dedicated to publishing books; the book A passion for Systems (System och passion – Linné och drömmen om Naturens Ordning, 2007) was rewarded by the Royal Swedish Library and the Swedish Publishing Prize.
22 october – 4 december 2010
Galerie Maria Lund
48, rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris