Julia Morlot: Cameos, 2019-2021
“We do not know what the body can do”, Ethics, Spinoza.
White, matte and circular, the Cameos are ceramic bas-reliefs that reveal, among small stringy excrescences, splintered anonymous bodies. There is something both pleasant and painful in watching these bodies suspended between appearance and disappearance. The organic mass struggles with the proliferation of filaments. This is where the desire for fiction emerges. The works are reminiscent of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, in which Daphne becomes a laurel to escape Apollo’s lust. They draw upon psychoanalysis – the emergence of consciousness in a specific part of the body, the hand, the ear or the leg paralysed by hysteria. We also think of blasoms, a poetic form in which the loved one appears only by fragments. Cameos convey sensuality. Often, Julia Morlot’s pieces are located in the interstice where concern and sweetness, strangeness and seduction come together. Earthenware demands rigour and precision. Everything could break at any moment, the clay needs to be dried, opened and closed. This operation is delicate, the bodies are made from fragile clay, and everything can be lost through the slightest mistake. Every combination needs to be considered in order to reach the vulnerable point where body’s parts will come out. Like the medallions of yore, Morlot’s Cameos suspend time. Her hands sculpt the clay, slow down, search, grope, one sculpture is added to another, the latest always arising from the previous one, like a gateway to the unknown, from memory to adventure.
Text by Florence Andoka
Camées (Cameos), 2019-2021, Earthenware, moulding & modelling