“I lost I lost - What?
Ah yes - My head”
Silence de porcelaine, 2022
oil on canvas
116 x 90 cm
La coulée, 2022
oil on canvas
30 x 40 cm
oil on canvas
24 x 18 cm
Emilia Shine captures fragments – which make up her paintings – of reality, imagination, the internet, to make them a repertoire of perpetual narration. Based on a staggered temporality, each of her creations has neither beginning nor end.
Painting plays the main role here. The canvas, simultaneously the source and the destination, unites the act of a story that can be translated into written scenarios, sound stories, or animated images.
Emilia Shine’s archive feeds on the visible and the imaginary, or – more precisely – on the multiple transcriptions and representations of them by consciousness and beliefs, but also – externally – by media and technologies.
For Emilia Shine, the internet is a field for the condensation of information.
On the internet, the artist captures and classifies the fragments of a story, which she then reconstructs on a digital screen, where the scene is generated and experienced. From the screen, the collage of ‘clues’ is fixed on the canvas. Here, the gesture, the pictorial material and the substrate freeze the figures and their intentions. At this moment – once the painting is finished – the artist can decide to liberate/emancipate the subject, to rework and reproduce the scene using technological tools, proceeding backwards: from the substrate to the screen; from the pictorial image to the digital image.
Emilia Shine’s creations are shots that follow each other, continue each other and coexist in relation to each other. The sequences of a tale that extends into a soft/supple temporality. A chain of events without order, like the flow of memories made available to our consciousness according to the experienced moment, combining sensations, feelings, perversions, and inputs, both internal (experiences, relationships, actions) and external (images, videos, information).
Correspondence and attractions play a central role in Emilia’s production.
Material, figurative, dreamlike, surreal, flowing. The atmosphere in her paintings induces a shift. The reason lies, perhaps, in the set of emblems and objects, in this kind of script which does not impose its meaning. The skin of these imperfect, sloppy, indifferent characters, who seem to exude the warmth of the space from which we perceive them, approaches (or clings to?) the objects and elements of the scenes that they inhabit. They smoke cigarettes, they talk on the phone, they look at each other through a mirror, in scenarios troubled by incongruous details: a piece of meat, a cake, a cross. The clues bounce from one side of the scene to the other, following the weft of an unknown pattern.
Emilia does not suggest the exegesis of her story because no single interpretation exists. It is up to the eye to reread this story, to give it an order, a meaning – or otherwise –, according to the spectator’s experience and consciousness.
Emilia Shine’s exhibition interprets the transition of the UNBOXING project towards works that exist for and via the digital medium. It also interprets the notion of archive and the non-temporality specific to the virtual space.
UNBOXING 4 is an emerging exhibition, which gradually occupies a pre-existing or non-existent digital space. Emilia Shine’s work takes on multiple forms and formats (visual, textual, sound). The project gradually lengthens, layer after layer, to shape this body – a perpetual narrative.
Neither beginning nor end, like memory, which records events, objects and entities from long before we were born. A malleable soil, where realities and imaginaries meet, where information mixes or is forgotten (more or less consciously) under layers of other interpretations; ready to reappear via other channels: dreams, travel, conversations.
The artist’s work is located at the intersection of these entities. In the hybridisation between lived experience, ancient and contemporary mythologies, and the internet as a source of visual, sound and textual information. These fragments, placed next to each other, generate the shots of the story which are destined to move from the screen to the canvas. Emilia does not seek a meaning, a sense, or a subject for these paintings, she decomposes the symbols between life and dreams. She establishes “communicating vessels” (as Breton did before her) between real or imaginary characters and architectures, between tangible and digital phenomena.
Emilia Shine’s project contaminates Unboxing through its distribution in a fluid/elastic temporality. First of all, each of Emilia’s works can be considered to be a fragment of an unfinished story. Each of her paintings is the sentence of a story that leads to the next scene, without any discernible, finite meaning.
Unboxing 4 - Emilia Shine is composed of three parts: incipit, clues, epilogue.
The exhibition “I lost I lost - What? Ah yes - My head” is a perpetual narrative. Incipit and clues succeed each other, before reaching an open epilogue that will potentially lead to a new introduction. Like thoughts that flow one after the other through causal associations to which each person will give the meaning they desire.
(AD + OdN, trad. JP)
The genesis of the project is the conversation between Emilia Shine and Léa Petges, a poet-writer she (Emilia) met in Mexico. The geographical and temporal shift is introduced into the story that Emilia – probably – wants to tell us. These texts and exchanges contribute to the creation of the work.
Yet the narration is not inspired by the pictorial work, and does not necessarily translate its content.
These writings open an IN-exclusive channel of interpretation. Léa Petges designs a text that lives for itself, that she generates beyond painting. Over the course of the exchanges, it is impossible to establish the extent to which the narrative overlaps with the image, how one is absorbed, contaminated by or kept distant from the other.
The riddle may be one of the only truths here.
In the painting “Silence de Porcelaine”, the frames of the composition are superimposed on each other, layers of a seemingly frozen story.
Here, the folds and the flesh of the exposed female body contrast with the dog-sphinx frozen on its pedestal. The rigour of the dog is opposed to the violence of the volcanic eruption, to the trickle of lava (blood) that flows in the background, to the same fiery liquid offered by a woman’s hands. The dog’s inertia echoes the character/child at the centre of the composition, and the cross planted on the ground.
A cross, a cow, meat and a body. How does our thinking develop these images?
Where are they in our head? Where is our head?
Emilia’s paintings are expressed through the script of a story which is open to all codification. Fragments of memories, real or invented elements, automatic, imaginary or flashback writing. Elements of a collage to be recomposed, according to one’s own intuitions and impulses.
Like Hydra, the water snake with multiple heads. Cutting off one head only means generating more.
He lost his mind... or his memory.
Honestly he got nothing left, just some pictures , some objects and memories. In front of his big mirror he doesn’t know what to do... he looks at himself and remembers...what exactly I don’t know...Like a child that dives into its imaginary, inventing himself a story. And I would like you to tell us the story
La Maison, 2021
oil on canvas
159 x 130 cm
Retine is the final frame of the story Emilia Shine wanted to waive for UNBOXING#4.
The work expresses Emilia Shine’s process of creation, from the concept of the archive, to a stretched temporality, to the evolution of the pictorial medium in animation.
Indeed, Retine is closely connected to the animation Silence - Emilia Shine’s project in progress -. Silence is inspired from an image of the Belgian photographer Harry Gruyaert, taken in the toilets of a Moscow hotel (1989) (here an extract of Silence).
Here lies the link between Retine and Silence.
Looking at the young man of Retine, the possible Narciso grabbing the mirror as an amulet, we would then, maybe, recognize the same character of Emilia Shine’ story line. The same "guy" who can no longer find his head, face or age on the surface of the mirror in which he still seeks his own / real reflection.
“I’ve lost my face. I have almost no more thoughts.
How old is he?The guy there.
Who? The guy opposite. The one without a face.”
(text by Lea Pedge)
oil on canvas
116 x 90 cm
Found object 4
Le peigne, ceramic
Emilia Shine’s narrative continues with clues, with “found objects.” More precisely, with images of objects, taken out of their ordinary contexts.
Everyday things, belonging to a specific person, or otherwise, that become connection tools, assimilating new reasons. Amongst these “emblems,” the artist presents artifacts that are part of her heritage, her personal and family history.
Such objects – wrapped in an amnesic veil – carry the trace of events that no one seems to remember. Amnesia is the difficulty of retaining information in memory, a memory that therefore works by uncontrollable associations. Perhaps one day, these/her objects will allow for these associations to be rebuilt within a potentially existing frame.
Emilia reproduces some of these objects in ceramic, giving them a new status. The transition acts from the everyday object, to the object-work, to its image representation, to its digital state.
Within UNBOXING#4, some objects activate a sound dialogue (based on the reading of the original text by Léa Petges). Pieces of history. A man and a woman who will perhaps never meet again, who perhaps never really met. Relics or talismans, these clues activate the narrative of the story, on the basis of which the final animation is articulated in turn.
As common objects, taken out of their original context, they assume the value that each spectator assigns to them according to their memories. The choice is left to the visitor/user to tell the more or less real story that is activated by the object. Emilia Shine’s clues show how an image of a banal thing, globally recognised for its form and primordial function, can trigger a narrative that is totally different to its origin.
Le champs de blé, 2022
oil on canvas
140 x 140 cm
Found object 2
La chienne, ceramic
Rince toi à l'eau du lac, 2022
oil on wood and plastic
31 x 23 cm
Found object 1
Le miroir, ceramic with sound
(click on the object for the sounnd or read here the text by Lea Pedge)