Audemars Piguet

Morgane Tschiember Finds Inspiration in the Unexpected

The Brest-born French sculptor intends to offer a new freedom to the materials she manipulates.
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She loves unpremeditated interactions that allow her to find inspiration. Unexpected combinations of materials in her sculptures and installations—glass and cement for “Bubbles” or wood for “Honey Honey”, ceramic and rope for “Shibari”, foam, rubber and wax for “Monochrome”—are experiments that open up a new field of possibility. Through her works, Morgane Tschiember studies the very essence of her materials, their density, and their structure; she pushes their physical limitations. For "Dust Devil,” which was part of the exhibition "Six Soleils" at Vitry's Mac Val in 2016, she shaped blown glass balls mixed with powder, creating an object on the verge of breaking. In reaction to the work, astrophysicist Daniel Kunth remarked, "If I had a precise image to show what existed before the Big Bang, it would look like this".

Tschiember loves to learn and to "understand the rules to stop following them," she explains. When glass blowers tell her that what she wants them to do is impossible, she decides to figure out how to do the job herself. It is she who welds ("Folded"); it is she who knots; it is she who bakes the ceramic ("Shibari") and cuts the marble.

"Failures are fundamental in my practice. Creating your own tools generates new gestures and therefore a form of thought that is not predetermined," Tschiember says.

At the age of four, she had already declared she wanted to become an artist. Her mother gave her copper plates for etching. After observing her difficulties with impressing her work on paper, her father found a way to use an old apple press abandoned in the garage. For her, it was a turning point: "I was fascinated. I love this shift of meaning, this progressive shift of a form, of a function. Use an object by changing its function."

Later, with her mother, she visited an exhibition at Tokyo Beaubourg and fell in love with Japanese rituals. Her parents gave her a kimono that she insisted on wearing during meals. A few years later, a Japanese gallery invited her to a residence, where she discovered and became fascinated with kinbaku and learned the art of bondage invented by the samurai.

"Most of my works today require rituals," Tschiember states. When a collector buys one of her works, the artist asks them to take a picture with her on the spot. When she creates a work of marble watered with wine, she likes to think that her buyer will have to choose a time of the year to renew this gesture: for her, the object starts a dialogue. The trips, the dialogues, and above all the meetings are most important to her.

Tschiember shared her first studio with Olivier Mosset and has collaborated with artists like Douglas Gordon and John M. Armleder: "When you meet a person, it's like meeting time, stacked time." The Monte Altissimo, where Michelangelo recovered marble in Tuscany, is the site of her next project, in which we can already imagine that she will challenge the elements in a manner as powerful as it is unexpected.

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Photography: Spela Kasal
Styling: Vanessa Bellugeon

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