Marie-Lou Desmeules was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1978. She attended Laval University where she studied Advertising. In 2001 she moved to Berlin, where she began to develop her career as an artist. After living 9 years in Berlin and 7 years in Valencia, she currently lives in Madrid. Marie-Lou is a multidisciplinary artist who works with painting, photography, video and performance.
She had solo exhibitions at the University of Valencia in 2017, Neonchocolate Gallery (Berlin, 2010), Laval University (Quebec, 2010), Janinebeangallery (Berlin, 2008 and 2007) and Unique Gallery (Cologne, Germany, 2007).
Marie-Lou has participated in group exhibitions; CuratorLAB (Poznan, Poland) in 2017, Brooklyn Wayfarers (New York, 2016), IVAM (Museum of modern art and illustration of Valencia) in 2014, TRAFO Contemporary House of Art ( Szczecin, Poland) in 2014, Arc Gallery (San Francisco, USA) in 2011, Studio 9 Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey) in 2011, Micaela Gallery (San Francisco, 2010), Janinebeangallery (Berlin) in 2006 and 2008, in Scion Gallery (Los Angeles, USA) in 2009, Kulturhaus Vesterbo (Copenhagen, Denmark) in 2006, among others.
Marie-Lou Desmeules has been present at various art fairs with solo projects like Hybrid (Madrid, 2017) & Berliner Liste (Berlin, 2016), She has been represented by galleries at Affordable Art Fair (Los Angeles, USA) in 2012, Scope Miami in 2009 and Liste Köln (Cologne, Germany) in 2007.
In her journey as a video artist she has participated in festivals such as the 64th International Short Film Festival of Oberhausen (Germany) and Spring Performance Festival Amsterdam (Holland), Normal University of Eastern China (China), Eindhoven (Holland), Hilversum Museum (Holland) , Sandberg Instituut (Holland) and De School (Holland), in 2018, with the video "What happened with Britney?". She has participated in Woman in Animation (New York) with the video “Sex with Strangers” in 2017 and OffOff (Ghent, Belgium) with the video “Inamorato" in 2015. The video "Catharsis" premiered on NOWNESS in 2018.
Marie Lou was invited to participate in the artists residency of Uma Ari (Valencia, 2018) and Anderson Ranch Arts Center Artists Residency (Colorado, 2017). She has been awarded a nomination in "Artists Wanted" (New York, 2011) and a grant in Technology and New Media at Laval University (Quebec, 2003).
She has imparted masterclasses at Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Colorado, 2017), University of Valencia (2017 and 2016) and Laval University (Quebec, 2011).
Her work has appeared in several publications like books, blogs, magazines and newspapers, such as VICE, China Daily, El Mundo, Las Provincias, Design Boom, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Berliner Zeitung, Benetton, Die Welt, Berlin What?, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not 2015, among others.
Marie-Lou has been invited to participate in the "58th Venice Biennale 2019" with the exhibition "Personal Structures". The event will be organised by the GAA Foundation and the European Cultural Center and will be held at Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora, in Venice, Italy.
"We Are Plastic People: Bizarre Living Sculptures"
by John J. Staughton
When it comes to the unusual and intriguing living sculptures of Marie-Lou Desmeules, the balance of art and life is once again challenged in a unique way. Her work wraps normal people in the shell of celebrity, pop culture, or historical figures as a form of living art. Although at first it looks like a grotesque depiction of recognizable people, and the artistic merit may be questionable, the form is actually a meticulously crafted and philosophically relevant analysis of culture and the way that people in the public eye are perceived by the masses.
Granted, the initial impression of Desmeules' work is typically one of shock and surprise, but the people she is attempting to represent are unmistakeable. Although the contours of their faces or the shape of their bodies seems muddled or distorted, their posture, clothing, facial hair, and a dozen other recognizable attributes are pieced together in our minds through the recollection of thousands of other perfect images that we've experienced, and the subject becomes instantly recognizable. If the same thing was done to a normal person, perhaps even a friend of ours, we might struggle to know who was trying to be depicted, but when it comes to iconic individuals, our brains have an immediate association, and the abstract, jagged forms become clear.
The relationship of modern culture to celebrities is a strange one, and we often begin to see these famous figures as images, rather than individuals. We piece together their careers through famous pictures, like Steve Jobs' classic pose that now dominates the cover of his autobiography, or Pamela Anderson in her unmistakeable red bathing suit. The fact that celebrities are people becomes irrelevant; for the common person, they are mental collages of memory and glamor that resonate for years, even if the suggestive image is twisted or disfigured.
Desmeules plays with ideas of identity, fame, and the strange way that the human mind reveres or recognizes certain things that have no direct impact on their lives, simply because popular opinion has placed so much importance on a certain person. Her work, although sculpturally based, is reminiscent of Warhol's portraits. He took a sterile, unemotional approach, playing with color rather than lighting, setting, or posture, and yet there is no mistaking his classic images of Mao, Queen Elizabeth, or Marilyn Monroe.
The similarities between the Desmeules' Marilyn Monroe sculpture and Warhol's serigraph are eerie, the same painted face, the striking, unnatural colors, and the instantaneous recognition that we have of both images, despite them being poor representations for the actual human form. Warhol was fascinated by the commercial nature of human beings, and how everything was for sale, including the image of an individual. Desmeules follows in those same footsteps, putting the human form on a pedestal of grotesque reality, and daring her viewers not to recognize who she is trying to show.
Her work also speaks to analytic cubism, Picasso's artistic brainchild, which was a movement that suggested forms from reality by disjointing certain parts and testing how the human mind could reassemble recognizable forms from memory and association. It also smacks of Sherwood Anderson's literary obsession with the grotesque, and how people gravitate to the bizarre and unusual, even as they shun people who don't fit in the fold or normalcy.
Celebrities are praised for their beauty and perfection, yet that isn't what makes them so desirable or recognizable, as Desmeules' work shows. It is actually the very fact of their fame and prominence that draws us to them; they are as grotesque and outside the realm of normalcy as anyone with a humpback or a facial deformity. Our attraction is just as powerful in the opposite direction.
These sculptures are strange and perhaps disturbing to look at, but when you peel back the layers of your initial shock, you'll find that there is a far deeper conversation going on in the artist's work than slapdash papier mache and glued on facial hair.
Desmeules calls her sculptures "surgeries", and that is an apt name for the savage cuts and underlying violence that these sculptures embody. We have already become used to our most beloved characters and celebrities going under the knife to maintain their picture-perfect appearance, and yet we don't allow that artificial manipulation to change our views on their beauty or desirability. These sculptures remind viewers of an image in a shattered mirror, trying to be put back together again, like Humpty Dumpty on a Hollywood scale. Yet, thanks to our communal obsession with fame and the inexplicable workings of our minds, we succeed where the king's men and horses once failed…
Marie-Lou Desmeules nació en Quebec, Canadá, en 1978. Estudió en la Universidad Laval de Quebec donde se graduó en Publicidad. En 2001 se mudó a Berlín, donde comenzó a desarrollar su carrera como artista. Después de desarrollar su carrera durante nueve años en Berlín y siete en Valencia, actualmente reside en Madrid. Marie-Lou es una artista multidisciplinaria que trabaja con pintura, fotografía, video y performance.
De manera individual ha expuesto en la Universidad de Valencia en 2017, en la Galería Neonchocolate (Berlín, 2010), en la Universidad Laval (Quebec, 2010), en Janinebeangallery (Berlín, 2008 y 2007) y en la Unique Gallery (Colonia, Alemania, 2007).
Ha participado en diferentes exposiciones colectivas; CuratorLAB (Poznan, Polonia) en 2017, Brooklyn Wayfarers (Nueva York, 2016), IVAM (Museo de arte moderno e ilustración de Valencia) en 2014, TRAFO Contemporary House of Contemporary Art (Szczecin, Polonia) en 2014, Arc Gallery (San Francisco, EE. UU.) en 2011, Studio 9 Istanbul (Estambul, Turquía) en 2011, Micaela Gallery (San Francisco, 2010), Janinebeangallery (Berlín) en 2006 y 2008, Scion Gallery (Los Ángeles, EE. UU.) en 2009 y Kulturhaus Vesterbo (Copenhague, Dinamarca) en 2006, entre otros.
Marie-Lou Desmeules ha asistido con Solo Projects a diversas ferias de arte como Hybrid (Madrid, 2017) y Berliner Liste (Berlín, 2016). Representada por galería, ha participado en Affordable Art Fair (Los Ángeles, 2012), Scope Miami Art Fair (Miami, 2009) y Liste Köln (Colonia, 2007).
En su recorrido como videoartista ha formado parte de festivales como el 64ª Festival Internacional de Cortometrajes de Oberhausen (Alemania) y Spring Performance Festival Amsterdam (Holanda), Universidad Normal de China Oriental (China), Eindhoven (Holanda), Museo Hilversum (Holanda), Sandberg Instituut (Holanda) y De School (Holanda), en 2018, con el video “¿What happened to Britney?”. Ha participado en Women in Animation, en Nueva York (2017) con el video “Sex with Strangers” y en OffOff (Gante, Bélgica, 2015) con el video “Inamorato”. En 2018 estrenó el video de “Catharsis” en la plataforma NOWNESS.
Marie Lou ha sido invitada a participar en la residencia de Uma Ari (Valencia, 2018) y en Anderson Ranch Arts Center Artists Residency (Colorado, 2017). Así mismo, ha sido galardonada con una nominación en “Artists Wanted” (Nueva York, 2011) y una beca en Tecnología y nuevos medios en Universidad Laval (Quebec, 2003).
Ha impartido diversas masterclasses en Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Colorado, 2017), en la Universidad de Valencia (2017 y 2016) y en la Universidad Laval (Quebec, 2011).
Su trabajo como artista ha aparecido en varias publicaciones como libros, blogs, revistas y periódicos, tales como VICE, China Daily, El Mundo, Las Provincias, Makma, Design Boom, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Berliner Zeitung, Aujourd’hui la Turquie, Benetton, Die Welt, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not 2015, entre otros.
Recientemente, Marie-Lou ha sido invitada a participar en la exposición Personal Structures organizada por la Fundación GAA y el Centro Cultural Europeo y que tendrá lugar en el Palazzo Bembo y el Palazzo Mora de Venecia, con motivo de la 58ª Bienal de Venecia 2019 .
|La photographie, le monstre et le masque | Reno Salvail | 2011.pdf|
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|Cirugia plastica abyecta de Marie-Lou Desmeules | Dr Amparo Latorre | 2014|
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|Emulsión y Neoplasia (Radiografiando "Pain-Things" | Jose Ramón Alarcón | 2014.pdf|
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