An exhibition by Marie-Claire Barsotti
Kalinka Art Gallery, Pondicherry
September 14th to October 15th
Lignes de force… one could not pick a better name for the upcoming exhibition of Aurovilian artist Marie-Claire Barsotti at Kalinka Art Gallery, Pondicherry.
It is an excellent description of her life, a peek through the window of her soul.
The height of this life journey is revealed through the painting “Lignes de force” chosen for the exhibition poster. This montage of acrylic in burgundy and antique pink colors, made of Tibetan prayer golden leaves and lace collage, is the representation of what could easily be an octopus. The analogy between this unbelievable creature born 400 million years ago, whose force is greater than its own body weight, and the artist’s life is striking.
Marie-Claire wanted to study at Les Beaux-Arts, a famous art school in France, but instead, she studied at l’École normale to become a school teacher.
1993 was the year of her arrival in Auroville, where the Artisans d’Auroville opened the doors of creativity for her, and she acquired great technical skills. It was France, where she went back in 2004, that brought a new birth to her art and being. There, through meetings with extraordinary people and the experience of a psychological rebirth, she exploded like a champagne cork, deciding that she had the right to show who she really was.
Back in Auroville in 2009, she discovered that it was the medium of painting which gave her joy and prana.
Roaming through the exhibition, you will appreciate her high level of form and beauty and her unique approach revealing things that can stimulate, excite and inspire others. Even if sliding lately into a quieter painting period reflected by colours and composition, most of her pieces like “Joy” and the “Abyss” vibrate with bright colours and beauty.
“Indian Ink”, with its combination of Zen peace and passion, will also remind you that sometimes full power can be obtained through complete simplicity and a meditative mind.
Playing with all kind of materials, she remains innovative, keeping strength, color and stamina in her expression with a few pieces made of banana fiber paper leaves from Auroville Press, called dentelles. Five statues with their own stories of death and rebirth are also part of this story of transformation.
With Marie-Claire you cannot miss the boat, especially with the cherry on the cake, a video called “Mutation in Progress”, an amazing piece of emotional display directed by Christoph Pohl.
Through a subtle, virtual and psychological game of violence where Marie-Claire is filmed in black and white, breaking her own statues like ”Rachel breaking the idols” in the Bible, that switches to extreme sensuality with the curved and aerial lines of a dancing ballerina filmed in a warm ocher tone, Christoph succeeded in expressing the rebirth of the phoenix, the beauty of the morning star, and the plutonian soul of Marie-Claire Barsotti… accomplishing indeed a real “Lignes de force“.
Chana Corinne Devor for AVArts