photo: Gina Folly
Marie Matusz’s practice is the result of a critical engagement with forms and their inherent meanings. It evolves through in-depth research into a variety of philosophical, sociological, and linguistic theories.
Her work manifests these concepts through minimal sculptural installations, sound works, writings, and films. By using the specific architectural features of the exhibition space, Matusz installs her sculptures as if they were bound to the space. By juxtaposing elements and textures, she creates an aesthetic of management and develops a choreography of the viewer while the works seem to remain motionless and static. This suspension goes beyond the physical as it seeks to activate a suspension of time.
Her work plays with this moment of idleness by presenting objects from various historical archives, taken from our classical lexicon, and re-examine them through contemporary lens and production techniques.
Fall at Swiss Institute, Milan
Fall (the exhibition title is ambiguous for Marie Matusz, referring both to the season and the act of falling) begins with an ensemble of vitrines in which various objects have been placed. The dark glass obscures my view of the objects. To see what is inside, I must get close to the display cases, and I keep running into my own reflection. The new works produced for Fall are loosely associated with Samuel Beckett’s Mirliton- nades—a series of poems, at times laconic, wry, or melancholic, which the poet quickly jotted down on calendar pages, timetable margins, and napkins in 1977. Marie Matusz is interested not only in the potential of these fast rhymes but also in the moments of obfuscation or alienation that are hidden behind the notion of ‘mirliton’. In French, the term refers to plain, simple rhymes, but it is also the name of a kind of kazoo—an instrument that distorts the human voice over a stretched sheet of paper. With Fall, the artist addresses as- pects of rhythm, repetition, and composition as well as distortion—which Marie Matusz calls a ‘visual mask’. As a viewer, I find myself in an open labyrinth of semi-transparent plexiglass, which reflects me just as much as the objects and sculptures on display.
Lonely Daters at Clima, Milan
Lonely Daters merges a group of sculptures and spatial interventions into an emotive environment, layering surfaces and potential readings of objects through their positioning in space. The refusal of a simple figuration, of object-equals-meaning, provides a different potential means of understanding, opening the sculptures to being scrutinised from their surfaces through to their cores, from experience and meaning to reference, thereby detangling the conjectured process of “signification”.
Stand still for a second (no needs) (I), (II), (III), 2022
Information panels, acrylic glass
Hand blown glass
Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Millenial Clock, 2022
Aluminium, ash, Taenaris myops female
44,5 x 30 x 16,5 cm
Edition of 15 + 2 AP
Becomings, 2020 Installation view at Kunsthalle Basel
photo: Gina Folly
Marie Matusz (1994, Toulouse) lives and works in Basel and Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include: Prequel, Blue Velvet Projects, Zurich (2023); Lonely Daters, Clima Milan, Fall at Swiss Institute, Milan, Vulture, Der Tank, Basel (2022); Until We Turn Blue (Dorothea Von Stetten Art Award), Kunstmuseum Bonn (2020); Epoche, Kunst Raum Riehen (2020); Golden Hour, Atelier Amden (2019); and Caravan, Aargauer Kunsthaus (2019). Her works have been included in Honey, Blue Velvet Projects, Zurich (2023); The Fairest - non playable character, Istituto Pier Fortunato Calvi, Venice, Intelleaks, Nameagesexlocation, Mexico, Spring Equinox, Suns.works, Zurich (2022); Liquida’s Tales, Cherishhhhh, Geneva, Shoe Show, Kligenthal, Basel, Dorothea Von Stetten Art Award 2020, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (2021); Barely Furtive Pleasures, Nir Altman Gallery, Munich, Punk Delikatessen, Suns.Works, Zurich, Kunstkredit20 BaselStadt, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2020); Ein Karte -35/+65, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Retour À Rome, Instituto Svizzero, Roma, Crocodile Tears, Salts hosts Fiancé, Birsfelden, Dissonant Healing, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich, Discoteca Analytica, Kunsthalle Fri Art, Fribourg (2019). Marie Matusz received the Swiss Art Award in 2021.