I stepped past a window warped by white muddled projections and slid through the small dim doorway to the left of the unloved paved patio. White walls with little glossy black and white people jutted out in front of me. Each wall seemed to cut towards a different point of reference. I didn’t know where I was going so I grabbed a map. Unbeknownst to me, this would just hinder my journey into the bedsit of no return. The map had been compromised. The A4 print peppered with non-existent rooms and spaces. I turned a few more corners and there artist in residence Fauchon sat at a giant desk littered with hundreds of photocopies and black and white photographs. On the sharp white walls around her the collaged creations of the table slowly engulfed her and seemed to be reaching out for me.
Mireille invited me to join her at the table. I flicked through the photocopies of floorplans, doorframes and all these familiar things made unusual. I later found out these oddities were Jasleen Kaur's re-fashioned objects. The misfits of the kitchen drawer and bedroom wardrobe made sense in this weird place I was now part of. Pictures of loafers now dotted with paper circles and red inked stamps. Cheese graters on stilts with a shiny smiling woman floating above it, a person who'd been in this very room maybe 2 days, maybe an hour ago. Who knew?
In some collages the empty space on a photo, where the person at the centre of the portrait had been removed, were used. This absence echoed all that was missing in the space, now a shell of a home, with just the remains of living that only man made buildings can make feel so unnatural.
It was the interaction of the visitors of the space that pushed these themes and the narrative of the instillation. Your photo was taken and printed, you were asked to make collages of your own adding them to this empty dwelling. Mireille remained in the space for 7 days blending these encounters this with her own distinctive illustrative story telling of flowing lines and ink blackened paper.
She spoke as I cut out circles. Told me about how the bedsit reminded her of the flat that drove actress Catherine Deneuve insane in the film Repulsion. The scene with all the hands reaching for her accounted for the shadow like fingers that stretched across the collages towards my now quite cold flesh.
I found the unsettling nature of the instillation, its content and container, pleasurable. I like to be spooked and I enjoy being in places I don't feel I should be, That basement bedsit did just that but I didn't want to leave, I wanted to sit there cutting out shapes, stamping and ripping paper until every wall was covered with what was inside my head.
Look at more of Mireille Fauchon’s work here