“Art traditionally uses animal figures to talk about man, whose image they reflect like distorting mirrors. This is nothing like it. While the animals in Delphine Gigoux-Martin’s works do have a narrative function, they are however not meant to stand in for us, thus establishing a barrier between us and them, preventing us from becoming emotionally involved. While her brutal use of taxidermy and the animal parts that inhabit her work can lead the viewer from fascination to disgust, the feeling applies to the dead thing itself, rather than to the being no longer living. Contrary to the work of most contemporary artists, the animal is not there to trigger empathy.
Must we therefore regard Delphine Gigoux-Martin’s fictions as purposeless tales, as fables devoid of morality? By systematically combining various techniques of expression, the artist offers a new development of the process of collage, which was very popular with early 20th-century artists. In a way, she reacquaints today’s public with the strange flavour that cubist compositions might have had in their time. Whether she associates the carcass of an animal to its pencilled outline on the flaking walls of a disused factory, or confronts, in the same volume, a stuffed prey with the animated image of its predator projected onto the walls, it is always up to the viewer to establish the correlation between these different visual propositions. By readily making this deconstruction of space more complex, the elements of the composition defy the physical limitations of the exhibition space. Stuffed animals are suspended in mid-air or stuck in walls and windows, while elsewhere animated images are projected regardless of the architecture’s unevenness.”
Excerpt from Claude d’Anthenaise’s preface for the monographic catalogue Mémoires minuscules, Éditions Lienart, Paris, 2011
Translated by Lucy Pons