“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”

Solo exhibition by Emmanuelle Lainé at The Hayward Gallery, London.

Date: 26th October, 2018.

Curators: Dr Cliff Lauson & Tarini Malik

The venue and the exhibition are one.  This is the first time I have seen it done and I was astonished at how well it works.  I did not realise at the time that 24 hours later I was to see it again in Cardiff.  The images are floor-to-ceiling and include images of the exhibition floor and ceiling:

EL 1 IMG_2855.jpg

It involved me physically because I found myself dancing round the objects and the images to see if they were in 3D or 2D – the shadows were no help because the photographed images on the wall mimicked the shadows on the 3D objects.

EL 2 IMG_2865.jpg
Which is the 3D object and which the photograph?


It was a playful arrangement inviting interaction using everyday objects found in a home or an office that are not usually on display: old shoes, suitcases, a pile of dirt, plants and everyday office paraphernalia.  It can appear like a mirror but the photographed object present on the photograph echoes the same photographed object behind it rather than in front of it.

EL 3 IMG_2859.jpg

The relevance of the title, ostensibly a quote from Pablo Picasso, is that Lainé, having read it as a motivational slogan on an office wall,  is interested in how it has been appropriated by the corporate sector.

Lainé is interested in humans’ relationships with tools – who produces them, what for and what the ideology of the producer is.  ” When you use a tool, it can enter so deeply into your consciousness that it transforms your understanding of your own body, as well as your understanding of the larger world.” (Exhibition press release) and the idea of ‘the cyborg’ = ” a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device.” (www.dictionary.com)

What I took away about the work:

I would like to know whose idea it was to make the exhibition site-specific, whether it was Lainé’s or the curators’ since the space is known as a gallery and does not have a relationship with an office or a home environment.

I loved the oblique invitation to dance around the installation and its random objects and scale.  For example, the gigantic coffee machine has a scale totally different from that  of the other objects and their images.  It is a totally unique photographic exhibition which, through the photography, extends the boundaries of the space allocated to it.

What I took away about me and my practice:

In the 2 most recent OCA SW tutor-led meetings, both tutors have suggested that I project / print my fault lines as big as they can go or as big as they appear in nature.  The resultant prints were about 2.5 by 1.2 meters and I was really thrilled with them.  The work on show at the Hayward Gallery, done so big had a completely different effect on me: I was happy to interact with it but it was part of the room in that everything was on an everyday scale, whereas my fault line has no evident everyday references, yet I want visitors to interact with it.  Should I provide chalk crayons and ask visitors to leave their mark on it as it is projected onto the wall?  Should I take the print and ask people to print onto the paper?  If it is projected from a low light source, the viewer becomes part of it as s/he stands between the projector and the fault line so should I leave it at that?


Get some feedback over the question of physical vs shadow interaction with the Fault line at the exhibition, Osmosis, in Bristol.




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