« My God, deliver me from the model ! » (Diderot, Salon de 1765)
There’s always a sensitive intuition at the roots of Daphne Corregan’s work that she sketches out either in drawings, photographs or even through a conversation, becoming possible cornerstones for her ceramic art.
One wouldn’t call Daphne’s work sculptures. They cannot be defined by their relationship to space because they already are space; a space that’s been stretched, cut up, partitioned; a space that doesn’t represent the world but the idea we have of it. In which the anecdote is excluded.
So what is at stake in an important piece like « Divided Spaces » (and I’m not referring to its dimensions) is nothing less than the power thought has to make an artistic utopia exist. This piece is related to other works like « Spaces and Squares » or even « Preserved Spaces » made in 1998 which marks the beginning of this reflexion. The question being: « what do we do with our lives? How do we partition them? And why? Do these walls serve to protect us? And then, what are we afraid of? It’s within these most secret preoccupations that our own mythologies are formed, and from which Daphne Corregan’s work originates.
Even when she makes an obvious reference to what is generally « exclusively reserved to classical sculpture » such as the representation of the human head, her work appeals less to what we know intimately or to the anatomy of the head than to a reflexion on the head-object as such; referring us to the double of a head, threatened, emptied, pierced, sent back to its sterile emptiness.
Part of creating is answering questions that no one understands; the questions that push us against the wall. Art is one of these limits from where it’s possible to find an answer to the disorder of the world and our inner turmoil. Let’s not forget that already in 2000, Daphne Corregan presented the ceramic world with an image of terror held at a distance in the form of a monumental burka strewn with crystal roses. She succeeded in bringing forth the glorification of veiled women by the very representation of what is supposed to humiliate them.
With time, it appears that her relationship to the body has changed and that the revolt has been substituted by a reflexive introspection, a self awareness where the question is no longer « what have you done to this body?» but « what is the body? »
Her research on the image of the head arises from this interrogation that is at the source of our idea of intimacy. Here, the head (the « core of violence » for A. Giacometti) becomes the core of mystery; a mystery that sometimes finds its solution in duplication. But two heads side by side only reflect their own silence. The idea of connecting them by the mouth as in « Breathing under cover » is a beautiful one. By linking them Daphne invents a disturbing object because the kiss, yes, strangely turns us into a two-headed being, whose twinness is monstrous. Therefore, Daphne Corregan’s answer sends us back to a human reality where lovers are considered as lost beings for the the rest of the world. Octavia Paz gave an account of the love reality when he wrote: « universes strewn about/ a world falls/ a seed flares up». Here, the singularity of the love relationship is suggested in the form of some kind of an unknown spaceship. The only reason this image is disconcerting is because it concerns a mystery: the encounter of two beings.
But love dialectics are complex and two connected beings are also two chained ones. The two figures connected by their ears staring straight ahead no longer refer to twinness but to the Siamese relationship, both perverse and disturbing, and remind us of Hitchcock’s film The 39 Steps where the two actors Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll are handcuffed and therefore forced to remain together.
Please understand me, if Daphne Corregan’s work might first appear strange or disorientating, etc…it always winds up feeling (or almost feeling) evident. We are at the heart of a work in which the poetic intuition and creative imagination converse.
What is at stake in work like this is more the vision than the observation.
In this poetic apprehension of the world, the heads, constantly placed side by side, become something other than heads, The vases converse, becoming a kind of mysterious alembic (« communicating vessels ») while the houses’ surrounding space becomes completely closed in by insurmountable walls. No communication is possible in the tiny rooms that look like little suburban boxes. The Siamese heads could live there. But « Breathing Under Cover » turns the tables around. All of Daphne Corregan’s work plays with the dialectics of open and closed, with holes or with not, with circulating air or not. And one never knows ahead of time what the result will be since one piece is built on the ruins of the next. This is what creation is all about.
So it is only logical that her latest creations « Breath » and « Clouds » should be looked at from the philosophical perspective of the disappearing of the model because what Daphne is showing us are pieces that only reflect each other, UAOs, (unidentifiable art objects) that shine at the limits of the world of known objects, improbable constellations, as light as clouds and like clouds, strange and puzzling. Daphne again contributes to the universe of forms with these objects that allow, as Lambrercy says, to take « stock of the world ».
Extract from the catalogue Daphné Corregan, Editions Galerie Capazza, 2013
Born december 1954 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Lives and works between Draguignan, France and Monaco
Member of International Academy of Ceramic
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
FRAC Languedoc Roussillon, France
FRAC Basse Normandie, France
FNAC Paris, France
Musée de Soissons, France
Musée La Piscine, Roubaix, France
Musée de la Faïence, Marseille, France
Musée Bernard Palissy, St. Avit, France
Musée de la Faïence et des Arts de la Table, Samadet, France
Maison de la Terre, Dieulefit, France
Musée d’Art Contemporain de Dunkerque, France
Musée National de Céramique de Sèvres, France
Landesmuseum Stuttgart, Germany
Fonds Cantonal des Arts Décoratifs et Visuels de Genève, Switzerland
Museum fur Moderne Keramik, Lotte Reimers, Deidesheim, Germany
World Ceramic Exhibition Foundation, Icheon, South Korea
Olympic Ceramic Sculpture Museum, Amaroussion, Greece
French Ceramic Art Museum, Fuping, China
Aberystwith Arts Centre, Scotland
Musée Ariana, Genève, Switzerland
Collection AAF, Paris, , France
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa
Museum of Art and Design, New York, New York, USA
Egeart University Museum, Izmir, Turkey
Daphné Corregan, Dialogues Céramiques Musée d’Art Contemporain Dunkerque, textes de Paul Salmona, Camille Virot, André Debono et Claire Bogino 1995
Daphné Corregan, Maison de la Céramique, Dieulefit 2001 textes de Fréderic Bodet
Daphné Corregan, Galerie Zola, Cité du Livre, Aix-en-Provence texte de Yannick Breton 2003
Entretien avec Daphné Corregan, vidéo de Luc Bouéry et Eve Fritsch “Les Films de Jade”
Eden, deux, trois, émois, de Valérie Rouzeau & Daphné Corregan publication de la Galerie RemarqueRead more