Text for the solo show ‘Domestic Bliss’
Galerie Allen, Paris, May 16 - June 14, 2014
To celebrate Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann’s first solo exhibition at Galerie Allen the printed invitation acts as both artist edition and experimental communication. Invited and briefed by the artist, two writers were commissioned to produce texts that consider the multiple entry points in discovering Badaut Haussmann’s work. Her use of literary reference and the collaboration with these two writers proposes both fiction and traditional essay acts as a means of accessing the work.
An open French window. Lines, blurred in the mist, attempt to sketch a landscape. The western sun lights the left contours of the objects. The sleek palms, planted in their scales, shimmer in the breeze.
She moves gently over the parquet, over the rugs, over the tiles. Her body passes between lustrous furniture as if within a familiar ecosystem. Her slowness responds to the silent harmony of the arranged objects, one by one, across the years towards a definite shape, a presence reflects. The house was built around her and extends her shell. Habitat, armour, costume.
It’s a beautiful spring morning, and outside the magnolias and honeysuckles seize the garden’s colours. Breathe a soft air piqued with scents and saturated with a fresh dampness.
In the mirror she is like she was the day before, although a string of similar reflections line up before her. She pushes a pea of pearly cream from the tube, which she smoothes across her face. The surface of her skin sparkles. In front of her hands an assortment of circles, squares and tubes. With the gold box in her hand, she applies the “wheat” powder with a soft cushion. She takes the mascara and, with the brush, darkens her ebony lashes. A light cloud of eye-shadow, the colour of a dark sky. The tube pivots on itself — alluring red, intense red — she applies 135 énigmatique to her mouth. Finally, several layers of pink on her cheeks, a colourful parade, blown in from outside.
Inside, the adjoining rooms are in semi-darkness. A figure is half-lying on a large white couch. Magazines pile up beneath a floor lamp, outlining a spiral. Yet more palm leaves near the openings.
The telephone rings. The cat jumps from the table and heads towards the kitchen. The ringing resonates a second time in the house. On a coffee table lies a magazine which reads “Maison française”; a pair of glasses set down on the cover. The ring sounds once again. A woman gets up and moves to the far end of the room, towards a cabinet below the light-switches. She picks up the phone. From the handset a man addresses her in familiar tones. She notes a few lines on the pad in front of her. After a moment, she hangs up.
Visible disorder. Two shoes, a shoe tree. A phone, off the hook. Phones are often off the hook. The bed seems unmade. A transparent object: is it a seat, a vase, part of a lamp? Leftover coffee beside it. A brush, a lamp. And a clock.
Some people are sad in the morning. Rituals are there to unpick the nascent knots. Make coffee. Take a shower. Get dressed. Listen to the radio. Eat toast. Prepare lunch. Tidy, wash, polish, arrange.
On the four-sided white tiles a four-legged table is placed at a point of four angles with four doves above it.
The ceramic birds are stonily observed by the cat. He is enjoying the soft sun whose rays reach right up to him. He closes his eyes and breathes its fragrance. He is a little distracted. One of the birds, a little hidden, sees this. Everyday, he thinks of all the flowers and the trees on the walls and furniture in the house he would like to visit. He thinks of a strategy: “There is always talk of people becoming animals. Why not objects becoming animals? I extract enough silica to make a glass plate, which will be my beak and my body. Then, as I have a little metal in me, some residue of my varnish, I will make two openwork stainless steel wings. That way, the cat won’t see a thing. And what if the question was asked: but in the end who is more of a bird?”
Colomba, I’ll drink you really cool and really white
With arbutus or with myrtle
I’m very interested in decoration. I often leaf through magazines. I like the contact with them. Seeing the pictures parade between my fingers gives me an enormous sense of wellbeing. I like it when my finger sticks to a page and I have to lick it to continue. It’s a little like the sacramental bread, a bland taste and a bliss. I absorb all these images with my eyes like a printer.
(A large white couch)
At the back of the room a large opening looks out onto the sky. The axis coincides at 45° with the direction of the couch, parallel to the step which separates the lounge from the dining room.
Unrivalled colour of gilt brilliance my skin shines like you and the gold floor comes back towards me bringing like honey, a dream like a wonder In stars
It all began when it was decided to ban arabesques. Around the spiral of the ship-sofa, on the sea, the fisherman throws his net. The fisherman is not dressed in rags, waiting for the blessing of a small golden fish. He wears a full anthracite Armani, and must leave for work. Yesterday evening we watched television, which showed us the world. He got a call, then worked on the computer. The windows of his agency look out onto the sky. Together we master nature and we always look west. It reassures us. Soon, the horizons of the Andromeda galaxy. One day, we disappeared inside the furniture.