Elvire Bonduelle is searching for happiness. She creates handles to be in touch with life, and modules to smooth edges or soft wedges to make life sweeter. These weird objects often reveal an absurd functional dimension: a minimalist volume thus becomes an obstacle designed to be used at home to practice. Elvire’s work resembles a playful and quirky personal development plan –it is truly a form of asceticism in the etymological sense of the term: the need for exercise and discipline that we impose upon ourselves in order to feel fulfilled. Here, happiness is a matter of construction. There is an answer to every problem –tears are used as a pattern to adorn a coat, blood is an inspiration to create a series of ceramic objects, and finally death is ridiculed with the help of an éclair, a chocolate éclair that becomes a coffin, a tasty coffin inside which the artist poses with a smile on her face. Through these protocols, Elvire Bonduelle develops a poetical strategy of detachment from reality where seriousness and humour are found in equal proportions. Her works pinpoint the frailty of our lives while offering methods to strengthen ourselves. Through the insertion of narration, Elvire creates a parallel universe where anxiety is gradually deactivated and where melancholy is under control. Pleasure is suggested as a form of philosophy.
Etapes n° 155, 2008