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Santa Barbara, 2017. Super 8

28.11.2018 — 28.1.2019 BlackBox

Nicolas Clément & Barbara Massart

artist(s): Nicolas Clément, Barbara Massart

A spool of yarn, a knitting machine, a character wearing a balaclava crossing an unidentifiable space-time reminiscent of early cinema: Barbara dans les bois (Barbara in the Woods, 2015) is a multifaceted portrait, a kind of initiation journey that brings together the textile creations of Barbara Massart (born in 1987, lives and works in Vielsalm) and the work of photographer Nicolas Clément (born 1976, lives and works in Brussels).

Their collaboration took place in 2013 as part of an artist residency at La 'S' Grand Atelier in Vielsalm, a centre for art brut and contemporary art based in the south of Belgium that promotes interactions and experimental projects between contemporary visual artists and so-called 'outsider' artists. It was in the framework of his residency that Clément decided to produce a short film on Massart's work. The film, in which Massart plays the main character, revolves around a gloomy plot of her own making punctuated by images of a burning forest cabin, children trapped in a fire and her escape on horseback ...

For the purpose of the film, Massart created a series of sweaters and balaclavas, mostly decorated with flame motifs, as well as a stunning coat in which she wraps her body as though in a shield. Defining their respective roles in this common project, the two artists slowly developed a common basis of understanding and created a fantastical world between fiction and reality. Massart used the project to test her own image, to escape from it or construct a new one through her costumes, to become a magical other, to show her other self, cast in a serene, mystical nature.

Clément and Massart continued their collaboration in a second film, Santa Barbara (2017), produced as part of an artist residency in a Spanish art centre, with new textile creations, this time set against the backdrop of an Andalusian landscape.

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Santa Barbara, 2017. Super 8