Hélène Paris

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What are the benefits of a residency in Montmartre, at the Cité internationale des arts?


"What strikes you immediately when you arrive at the Montmartre site is the singularity, calm and beauty of the place; a few small buildings set up here and there in a green setting, it is an ideal environment to have a free mind and find inspiration. As soon as we leave, we find the Parisian uproar and all that the city has to offer us. 


It is a rare place that allows exchange between residents. Artistic practice is quite solitary, everyone develops their own methods, techniques or reflective processes. Obsessions and culture vary. The Cité internationale des arts gives us the opportunity to compare our modus operandi, it is very enriching. I think we learn a lot from each other, we help each other, sometimes emerge from collaborations. I live this residence as a very fertile and joyful experience."



An exhibition at the Cité internationale des arts currently ongoing, nominated for the Pierre David-Weill Drawing Prize of the Académie des beaux-arts, your feedback on all these ongoing projects?


"I am very happy to be showing the first form of L'Avenir est une fiction at the Cité internationale des arts, a project I have been working on for over a year now and for which I had applied. It is a way to really give substance to this residence and to see my work develop in real time. 


My practice has evolved quite quickly in recent months and it was by chance that old drawings were selected for the David Weill Prize (which will also be held at the Cité internationale des arts!). To see at the same time different stages of my research provokes a slight retreat effect and reintegrates my practice into its temporality, it gives me the possibility to look at things as a whole and to be always a little surprised by what happens and might not have happened."





Through multiple approaches (from figuration to abstraction, from drawing to volume) something obsessive underlies Hélène Paris' work: disorientation. She slowly draws a map of doubt, in an aesthetic trajectory where the omnipresence of black takes its source in the finesse of the line to annihilate it in the power of the solid. 



The research "Et la nuit éclairait la Nuit" (2017) allows her to intensify her relationship to space and time and to project her work into a metaphysical territory where she tries to formulate the disorders of thought through illusion and confusion.


She plays with blind spots, grey areas, darkness and attracts the eye in games of manipulation of our perception. Today, Hélène Paris is particularly interested in the future in what is truly elusive about him, and wonders how to think the unthinkable. 


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