Here is a rough translation into English of this interesting subject. Natalie Lamotte by Damien Sausset (Critic "Art Press" and "Connaissance des Arts")
“We live in a world where the high position of the sign is to make disappear reality and to mask this disappearance at the same time. ” 1. With this sentence, Jean Baudrillard indicated lately how much our company lives in a mode where reality seems to be lacking. Strange assertion that this one. Thus, our reality, that with the heat of which our imaginary does not cease being heated throughout our life, would have disappeared, congédié by some force of a brutality without equivalent. Baudrillard is not besides the only one to carry mourning. Jacques Rancière, Paul Virilio, Marc Augé not to take that some French examples compose the same requiem. The methods of their lament differ, their reports also, but all speak with constancy about a planetary disaster which directly touches each one among us with deepest of itself, questioning the identity even. Indeed, the visual bath in which we are immersed, the intrusion of virtual in information technologies, absolute confusion between sphere of the close friend and public space, the perfect achievement of a commercial company based on the spectacular one are as many facts which have what to make doubt world which surrounds us. The analysis of such a process would undoubtedly require long developments, developments largely exceeding the framework of a text of catalogue. More interesting are the multiple answers brought to these phenomena. If one turns to the contemporary artistic practices, although the ways diverge, a large majority of artists privileged the techniques of recording as photography, the video cinema and it. By inventorying through the image the misadventures of our daily newspaper, they think occasion consequently to thwart this world of appearances and the show. However, rare are those to have understood that it is precisely while wanting to seize the gasoline of the world which they contribute finally to this “perfect crime” which is the disappearance of reality (to take again the word of Baudrillard). Their error is not a question from point of view. Simply, to build an image of the real cost from now on to destroy its substance of it. Nothing is given. Only an act remains whose authority does not leave any possibility of play or appropriation by the spectator. Jean-Luc Godard, by precisely exposing all these figures of authority of the image in its “History (S) of the cinema”, Doug Aitken and others vidéastes by playing with the idea of flow, time, setting in abyss of reality or Jeff Wall by rebuilding a pictorial tradition applied to photography seems to denounce, with some others, this formation of the compromise which is the major figure of the current social communication. For really convening reality again, it is thus necessary to face the control symbolic system of the absence, to be able to seize the things in their sleep before even as they integrate the circuit without end of the screens. Here are undoubtedly bases of any truth. The recorded image, the image returning explicitly in the sensitive world from now on died, died of its incapacity to open, be able to disavow the authority whose economic culture avoids it. The image is not thus any more. It rocked in the world of the visual ones. The sign, its meant and its referent are confused perfectly, to some extent drawing the form of an esthetics from where the exchange is excluded. By its painting, Natalie Lamotte states, with power and reserve, grace and severity, a need for the glance. Not new problems of the representation which would come to be added to those having marked out the history of art but rather a will to draw from painting the means of a reconsideration of our world. The fabrics of Natalie Lamotte mobilize the glance, call it, animate it and put it in vigilance. It is not thus a question of building images which convene reality but to show well that the reality of the image is the access to reality even. For that, any figuration and even the will of a transcendence by the abstraction cannot intervene. It would be to still fold back painting on the vision. Natalie Lamotte makes disappear neither the image, nor the sign, but gives equivalents and mobilizes of them the latter towards the glance, and the glance towards reality. Obviously, these fabrics pose forms. They are however without fasteners and can be perceived as as many evocations of the sensitive world so much so that it is possible to read them like flowers, fragments of a microscopic reality suddenly revealed, like these folds if close friends of the human body, the lips repues of sap; unless they are not the violence of the flesh exposed? Difficult to slice. But that is of no importance. The matter is well elsewhere: in this refusal of the reason and this radical abandonment for a so frequent pictorial logic nowadays. The images here are not copies, reflections, nor projections. On vast square frames, forms open out. The bottom is of a white pure, luminous, almost violent one. By contrast, which present is seemed light, immaterial. The colors hesitate, oscillate between transparency and opacity, the obscure mass of a form and the sudden appearance of a constellation of colors with its myriads of glares. The color is also matter. It fixes the glance, stops it, the constrained one with the examination, the attention. It is the presence and the limit even of any image, as a real absolute which are these masses fitting in the fabric and which the violence of a pure white prolongs. Here, a violent red. In the following fabric, the same range coloured but diluted in a play of glacis. Elsewhere, in an older series, blue makes irruption, seems to tear off neutral bottom for finally sinking in astonishing transparencies violets. It was however a time when Natalie Lamotte left the visible one. At its beginnings, almost twenty years ago, it drew from the figuration the source of its subjects. Hockney, Bacon, Mitchell were as many figures which planed on its practice. And although it followed a short training in visual arts, it is as a recluse that it forged an experiment, trying out matters and techniques, refusing the compromises and moving away from reassuring shelter from the examples from the contemporary art. Such was the lesson of its relation with Julije Knifer, lesson learned at the time where it was its assistant (2001-2004). It is however necessary to go up in time and to stick to its frequentation of African spaces to undoubtedly find the point nodal having made it give up the figuration. She discovered the capacity of the color there, the superpositions and the direct force of purified forms, remote vestiges of a recomposed bestiary. She then paints vaguely fantastic animals, some masks or landscapes. And if each one of its reasons is often drowned in astonishing joinings, its practice however gains in independence. Especially it approached the shores of the color, this sovereign color which is the direct emanation of the conscience of its author. The negative hands of the paleolithic caves had clearly shown this force, this possibility of establishing a bond between the universe and the insignificance of the life. This lesson, the occident quickly forgot it, the gods claiming of other forms of representation. It is thus in contact with a culture still committed in a belief where reality always answers the forces of cosmos that it draws the need for emptying pictorial space to open it with uncertainties subjectivity. As from this moment, the forms were slowly purified. The color as an actor even of the act to paint then found a new place. This movement was accompanied by an obviousness. The act to paint comes from the interior and does not owe anything with the world which surrounds it. Painting defines a world then where given must be recreated. To testify to the outside, it must be initially abstracted some. Such an operation required the convocation of all the energy of the body. It is a body in action, under tension, concentrate to the extreme, a body where the spirit dictates a possible behaviour to him, an improbable reserve also, which is put here in scene. The protocol is simple. On the prepared fabrics, it pours and slack a made color of pigments, with precaution, undoubtedly with this softness specific to the spirits absent from reality, it handles object-painting and allows him to acquire its heart. It will however be necessary for him to wait, to wait a long time to know if this gift that it made with painting is returned to him. The pigments must dry, reveal their colors, find the matity which will be theirs. Sometimes the operation is concluded on a failure. The indecision of the colors is too strong, the too obvious flatness of the coloured layers. One would not have therefore imagining that this practice is anchored in violence, this violence comparable with that of Pollock regarding the virgin space of the fabric as an arena to be conquered. Nothing like it at Natalie Lamotte. And even if Jean-Louis Poitevin spoke in this connection about an artist letting “speak his belly, internal bodies or rather the vital force which is in it”, nothing comes to visually attest this work of revealing; nor d' an idea d' a dramatizing with excess of subjectivity, variat.
Damien SAUSSET, 2007
Art critic collaboration in ArtPress and Connaissances des Arts.