Maria Marshall
06/04/2004 > 22/05/2004

Opening on 03/04/2004, from 6 pm to 9 pm

MARIA MARSHALL works on a body of large-scale video projections, renewing links with the psychological dimensions of cinema. The artist plunges us into a world of childhood, this being a pretext to evoke the anxieties of adults, and onto to her own anxieties at being a mother. MARIA MARSHALL makes her own children the protagonists of these works, as charming putti bearing all the attributes of innocence. Nevertheless the children are depicted in scenes of danger, in an anguishing context or confronted with adult responsibilities. Anxiety, even discomfort develops when the viewer is faced with the impossibility of intervening on behalf of these children whose physical or psychic integrity is threatened.

The images are strongly aestheticised with a most particular attention to light and the rendering of colour, and the way of suggesting danger in an extremely seductive way. The power of these works resides in the fragile balance between fascination linked with the visual seduction of the images and the unease provoked by a feeling of underlying violence. MARIA MARSHALL's mastering of cinematographic techniques, the great rigour of her direction and the repetitive aspect of projections give these brief narratives a truly hypnotic dimension.

In this show MARIA MARSHALL presents three works: in Cyclops (2002, diptych 35 mm film, colour and surround sound) a screen shows a child standing in a room, filmed in an oscillatory manner by a Cyclops digital camera. The camera plays the role of interrogator and its movements are programmed to correspond to the idea associated with words such as 'love', 'hate', 'tenderness' or 'boredom'. On the second screen programmed lighting effects – strobe, spotlight, red light etc – lighten the body of the artist and interrogate her about the same concepts. The sound of the movie, a powerful blast, is the actual one of the camera.

Multiplying references to the history of art – notably in the film's carefully accessorised composition, reminding Jacopo POTORMO's Pietà –, Pinocchio (2003, film 35 mm, colour and sound) evokes the hard position of a woman between desire for maternity and the will for emancipation. MARIA MARSHALL, seated facing the camera in a caravan, speaks, with much maternal love and daily life details, about the baby she holds on her knees, who is in fact a doll. In a single sequence during which the candles burn out in reverse, MARIA MARSHALL repeats three times her monologue on the role and the responsibility of a woman and a mother, and of the difficult conciliation of the two roles. The third time, one of the doll's legs starts moving.

10,000 Frames (2004, Super 8 film transferred to mini DV, colour and sound) is the artist's filmed journal of her trip to Disney World, Florida in the company of her two children; 6 days, 12 hours of filming each day, hence 10,000 images projected at an accelerated speed in 6 minutes and 40 seconds, becomes like a comical and hallucinatory trip to the land of Mickey.

Finally, MARIA MARSHALL presents a perfume edition Sean (2002-2004, limited edition of 50, each signed and numbered by the artist), developed in collaboration with the Quest International Laboratories and presented in a bottle and packaging specially designed by the artist. Created as an extension to the film Playground – projected in in 2002 at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) with the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations –, the green and woody notes of the perfume evoke the adolescent in the film. MARIA MARSHALL will also be presenting four photographic works from Playground.


MARIA MARSHALL was born in Bombay in 1966. She lives and works in London. She has exhibited at Palais de Tokyo (Paris), the Herzliya Museum (Israel), the Printemps de Cahors (France), the Goteborgs Konsthall (Sweden) and the Freiburger Kunstverein (Swisserland).