haunt: Fanny Gicquel

2024年3月1日 - 4月6日
Hua International is pleased to announce haunt, Fanny Gicquel’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. "Haunting,” the cultural theorist Mark Fisher writes, “happens when a place is stained by time, or when a particular place becomes the site for an encounter with broken time.” In her first exhibition without live performers, Gicquel translates the sensation of haunting into shifting layers of presence that inhabit constellations of ambiguous objects and sculptural scenarios. Working with form and color to elicit a psychological and emotional effect, Gicquel mines the “affordance” or potential activation latent in objects, personal memory, and institutional history. 
The exhibition emerged from a collaborative research process the artist undertook during a residency at the Archives of Art Criticism (ACA) in Rennes, France. Fascinated by the interplay between official, professional, and personal documents related to the lives and work of French art critics, Gicquel was drawn to the archive’s materiality and the different regimes of presence that the ephemera contained therein oscillate between. “On the surface of the documents, a hidden and more intimate life is revealed, such as drawings in the margins, coffee stains on a document, or a taped train or cinema ticket,” Gicquel explains, “All these aspects create an intimacy and a certain connection with the archive.” Her encounters with these documents sparked broader reflections on archives, memory, ghosts, and their way of haunting space or objects. To create the work hapdomain—a neologism formed from the ancient Greek haptikós "capable of touching" and abdomen—Gicquel transferred selections of texts and images from the ACA onto copper plates through a photogravure process. Cut, deformed, stitched, and recombined, the resulting suspended copper sculpture evokes the organic, enveloping silhouette of a chrysalis in which different temporalities, geographies, and biographies intersect. The fleeting, ethereal nature of thought and intimacy is reflected in the haptic quality of the material: Due to its reflective and luminous nature, copper allows the engraved images on its surface to appear and disappear with the viewers’ movements. The motifs in the engravings A long ribbon of scenes, the title of which refers to Virginia Woolf’s A Moment of Being, were selected in collaboration with a group of designers, theorists, historians, and critics. An intimate, fluid form of “database” emerges that constructs an associative, non-linear narrative. A series of water-filled glass sculptures entitled touch and release bear the imprint of different hand positions like mimicking a caress or grasping an object. Both content and container, these vessels bearing the ghostlike traces of many hands, thereby evoking the collective process of building, maintaining, and exploring archives while also gesturing towards the notion of hydrofeminism, which in its emphasis on radical collectivity contends that we are all connected to the watery planet through a fluid continuum. The steel and brass armatures in the sculptural series Hold our ghosts - to my grandmother take their dimensions from the size of standard moving boxes, which the artist then strikes, stretches, and squeezes to imbue these regulated forms with emotion. Each sculpture becomes a kind of “living archive” not only through their physical manipulation, but also the inclusion of small buttons culled from one of Gicquel’s personal collections: delicate objects accumulated over generations by family members as they moved through different contexts in Italy, Algeria, and France, which were bequeathed to the artist by her grandmother. These wall-mounted objects, which draw upon the languages of both painting and sculpture, suggest the gesture of opening and closing, protecting, or discovering our secrets and stories.


- Jesi Khadivi 



Fanny Gicquel (born Rennes, 1992) lives and works in Rennes. Gicquel was awarded the Fieldwork Marfa Hostcall Prize in 2022, as well as the Prix du Frac Bretagne—Art Norac. That same year, her solo exhibition at Hua International’s Beijing location was awarded the Best Exhibition Award by the Beijing Gallery Weekend. In 2021, Gicquel’s work was featured in Unworlding, a new special section of Frieze curated by Cédric Fauq that featured a selection of international artists whose practices are centered around the idea of the undoing of the world as we know it through their exploration of ideas related to apocalypse and regeneration, undoing and reconstruction. Gicquel has had solo exhibitions at Temple Bar Gallery+Studios, Dublin (2023); Passerelle, Center for Contemporary Art, Brest (2020); and The left right place, Reims (2020). Her work has additionally been featured in international group exhibitions at venues including CNEAI, Paris; Galerie im Saalbau, Berlin; Beijing Art Contemporary Biennale; and Beiqiu Museum of Contemporary Art, China. 

with support from