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January 7, February 25, 2023

With « Un Mot sur Tant de Bouches » (A Word on so many Mouths), Stéphanie Saadé plays with familiarity as if it were a sensitive cord. Her performative work Aujourd’hui j’ai eu envie d’un changement de perspective (Today I Felt Like a Change in Perspective)(2022) forecasts a shift casting away the shadow of forgetfulness and disinterest. Values are reshuffled like as many cards long held in hand; the sedimentation of gestures, habits, are prominent points towards which our attention is henceforth directed. In the web of her memory, attachment is the tenuous thread, holding together the edifice of time. The touch of a sheet, the triviality of its patterns (Stage of Life, 2022), the wood of a game board (Échiquier (Chessboard) 2022), suggest the familiarity of everyday life, as much as standardized clothes or furniture (Pyramide, 2022, IKEA, 2022), whose triviality is a commonplace. These objects are hers, but they remind us of habits which are also ours.

The works that she presents at Anne Barrault gallery tell the story of an exploration by diving into the smallest things. The past that they summon is that of time that flows gently and continues to resonate within us. Many artists who use salvaged materials, such as the new realists, are interested in the indicial status of objects. Used as the supports of memory, they are worth for, suggest absences and the flesh of the past. Like these artists, Stéphanie Saadé is interested in objects, which are the discreet companions of similar trivialities. However, her work, far from summoning relics, materializes transformation and becoming. By fitting her teenage bed linen to the size of her Parisian flat, (Stage of Life, 2022) she asserts the power of adaptation, like a growth of the inanimate. So does the past live, caught up in the circular economy of the intimate, such as shown in Cercle Familial (2022) and Where Eyes Rest (2021). The circle made with the hair of three generations of women unites different temporalities in a shared present. The past, in Stéphanie Saadé’s work, invites no nostalgia; on the contrary it is the breeding ground of a germination whose growing bloom she observes. Life instinct in her work feeds on memory and sharing.

Déborah Laks

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