Set in the far future in her adopted home of Berlin, Julie Favreau’s new exhibition straddles the histories of cinema and photography. She has long drawn from psyche and science fiction in her work, and Will Deliquesce deepens her exploration of these frameworks, harnessing their dream logic and technological optimism to address our current cultural moment. Her 8-minute video and five new prints imagine a humanistic utopia characterized by telekinesis and augmented realities – an unabashedly erotic realm where new forms of intimacy reign.
Within its first frames, Favreau’s video makes palpable the elasticity of time. Her camera lingers inquisitively as trans, female and male dancers perform a silent choreography, their nude bodies glistening in the light. In Favreau’s futuristic scenario, the beings communicate wordlessly, using telepathic technology in a ritual of restrained touch. The real activity, we’re led to believe, is in the mind, the sexual act encompassing diverse participants in a shifting cerebral fantasy.
At several points in her video and throughout her photographs, Favreau’s hands appear in frame, tilting a sheet of glass whose reflective surface shoots sun flares into her lens. The intervention recalls Man Ray, whose intimate photograms of his own and his lovers’ body parts anticipate Favreau’s relationship with her subjects and her craft. At one point in the video, Favreau’s camera ventures out an open window, following a CGI-rendered blob as it ambulates though the rooftops and out of view. The fleshy shape echoes the prosthetic appendages wielded by Favreau’s collaborators, sensual totems as vital to their communication as cell phones are to ours.
The video concludes with a close-up of firewood burning, an acknowledgement of wood and fire’s primordial powers. The logs, like Favreau’s subjects, shift only slightly while consumed in riotous flames; in them, one senses a nod to the past, but also to the future, where, kindled by technology, our ancient bodies will fly into rapture
Julie Favreau lives and works in Berlin and Montreal. Her works are open stories meant to induce a state of heightened sensory awareness in the viewer - statements for a return to concentration, focus, intuition and tactility. In her videos, choregraphies, sculptures and photography, eroticism and female gaze are approached as a form of power. She is interested in exploring the erotic texture of the world, the way animate and inanimate things touch and affect one another. Next projects will look at how spiritual and sexual power have a role to play as vital forces in the imminent encounter between the bodies of late capitalism and the augmented human. Her upcoming shows will take place at the Casino du Luxembourg, Blue Star Contemporary (Texas), and Galerie im Marstall (Ahrensburg). Recent shows include Will Deliquesce, House of Egorn (Berlin); From Her Character, BF15 (Lyon); Holding Rays, Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin); She Century, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Délicat Pulse, Darling Foundry (Montreal); She Century, Edinburgh Art Festival - Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. She was the recipient of the Pierre-Ayot Award 2014 and Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art 2012. Favreau was listed for the Sobey Art Award 2018.