Alberta Pane Gallery is pleased to present the group show ‘Moi-même (faute de mieux)’ in its new Parisian space at 44 rue de Montmorency. The exhibit features works by Claude Cahun, Marie Denis, Romina De Novellis, Christian Fogarolli, Luciana Lamothe and João Vilhena.

The title of the exhibition refers to the part II of the autobiographical book "Aveux non avenus", written between 1918-1929 by Claude Cahun. This book is a mixture of different genres of writing: diary, poetry, dreamlike and epistolary narratives, accompanied by photomontages created in collaboration with her life partner Suzanne Malherbe. This autobiographical and introspective book is a true journey in search of the self, a self-portrait, a quest for the possible definition of "who am I?”. With an indefinable, unclassifiable and non-linear writing style, where dream and reality constantly intersect, Claude Cahun wanders in the meanders of the being without finding an answer to her questions. Thanks to this search, she provides us with a very profound reflection on existence.

Claude Cahun is a complex and enigmatic artist, whose work completely coincides with her life and is permeated with countless facets and obscure points yet to be revealed, with fascination and mystery, but also with great contemporaneity. This is not only because of the topics she addresses, but also because of the originality with which she uses a variety of mediums such as photography, writing, collage, and sculpture, but also disguise, transformation, performance and theatre. The strength of the works lies precisely in this incessant, obsessive and continuous search for one’s own identity, which, however, will never be found, as it is multiple, plural and indefinable.

The exhibition 'Moi-même (faute de mieux)' aims to bring Claude Cahun's work into dialogue with the works of a number of gallery artists, in order to highlight the common threads that link this historical artist to those who are contemporary to us. The topics addressed by Claude Cahun, such as disguise, transformation, metamorphosis and questions of identity and gender, are also found in the work of Romina De Novellis, Marie Denis, Christian Fogarolli, Luciana Lamothe and João Vilhena. Moreover, the connections between the works of these six artists is also visible from an iconographic point of view, independently from the medium.

Marie Denis focuses first and foremost on an object and how it may potentially be reinvented. Marie Denis' work is also concerned with botanical principles. Her installations and sculptures are designed from raw materials and other objects diverted from their typical anchors in culture. She likes to circumvent the rules to realize her work, which is often sculptural: a vegetable path that "kaleidoscopes" the idea of nature, its beauty and fragility.

After studying at Lyon École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Marie Denis completed a residency at Villa Medici in Rome in 1999. A selection of her recent group and solo shows includes: ‘Métaphores sportives, de l'art et du sport !’, curated by Caroline Bissière and Jean-Paul Blanchet, Musée Labenche, Chapelle SaintLibéral, Brive, France (2022); ‘Les Extatiques - promenade artistique’, curated by David Moinard, Les Extatiques 2022, Paris (2022); ‘De Rerum Natura’, curated by Mara Sartore, Venice Meeting Point, Navy Officer's Club, Venice (2022); ‘De l’arbre au labyrinthe’, curated by Véronique Gay Rosier, Médiathèque de Tarentaize, Saint Étienne, France (2022); ‘Le temps du végétal’, curated by Pauline Lisowski, Botanic Garden of Nancy, France (2021); ‘Alma Herbarium’, Galerie Alberta Pane, Paris (2021); ‘Les Ombres’, Le Ravitaillement, lieu d’art et de pratiques rurales, Gavray-sur-Sienne, France (2021), among others.

Romina De Novellis is a performer, visual artist and researcher, born in Naples and grown up in Rome, active in Paris since 2008. After several years dedicated to dance and theater, Romina De Novellis has approached performing arts, studying the body both from an anthropological viewpoint and from the perspective of Mediterranean cultures. The artist uses ecofeminist theories as a parameter to analyze and denounce the oppressive realities of our societies, as well as the dichotomies nature-humanity, femininity-masculinity, North-South, scientific-intuitive, power-bodies and establishment-cultures. Traces of her performances are collected in form of polaroids, photos and videos. Romina De Novellis also pursues her anthropological research academically, with a PhD in anthropological studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris.

She regularly exhibits in international museums, foundations and galleries. Her recent performances and shows include the four performances of the series 'La Cultura che Vive' performed at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, the last of which took place on Sunday, January 29; but also ‘Tales from the South’, solo show, 2022 (Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, UK); ‘Tou.te.s sorcières’, performance, 2022 (Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Ivry-sur Seine, France); ‘Moleskine Retour 2.0’, group show, 2022 (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France); ‘Eurydice’, performance/installation, 2021 (Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, France); ‘Dialoghi sul Mediterraneo/The Last Supper Project’, 2021 (Domus Artist Residency and Lo.Ft, Galatina, Italy); ‘The Last Supper Project - Second study’, performance, 2021 (Festival Les Nuits des Forets, Fontainebleau, France); ‘The Last Supper Project - First study’, installation/performance, 2021 (Institut Culturel Italien de Paris, France); among others.

Christian Fogarolli lives and works in Trento, Italy and in Prague, Czech Republic. His theoretical and field research unfolds in archival and museum contexts, from which he draws inspiration with the aim of enhancing little-known heritage. His practice develops at the intersection of visual art and scientific disciplines, investigating how the latter have used the artistic medium to progress. Through historical and archival research, he attempts to deconstruct the binary condition that separates deviance and normality, reflecting on the normative attributions of disease, marginalization, and categorization in contemporary society.

By using different forms of expression, from installation to photography, from sculpture to video, Fogarolli’s works stimulate critical thinking on the relationship between mind and brain, reflecting on how the functional processes of the latter interact with the subjective ones of the mind, and investigating how these acts of thought develop into behaviors considered lawful or prohibited.

The results of his research have been displayed in events such as documenta (13), Kassel (2012); Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Rovereto, Rovereto (2013); La Maison Rouge, Antoine de Galbert Foundation, Paris (2014); Fondazione Museo Miniscalchi-Erizzo, Verona (2015); de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam (2015); 5th Moscow International Biennale, Moscow (2016); Hunterian Museum, Glasgow (2017); Gaîté Lyrique, Paris (2017); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017); Mart, Rovereto / Galleria Civica, Trento (2014-18); Les Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles, Arles (2018); Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2018); or even Palazzo Fortuny, Venice (2018).

Luciana Lamothe works with performance, drawing, photography and video, although her practice is mainly sculptural. In the research that she has been conducting for several years, the artist challenges the strength, ductility, flexibility and hardness of different materials by pushing them to their maximum potential, in order to show how the breadth of a transformation process can lead to a new representation of the material itself. Indeed, she often exposes contrasting materials to transformations that result in the weakening of the structures, revealing fragility and lightness as opposed to their defining strength.

Lamothe has exhibited internationally in numerous museums, galleries and biennials, including: Galerie Alberta Pane, Paris & Venice (2022); Festival des Arts Éphémères, Les Baux-de-Provence (2022); Ruth Benzacar Gallery, Buenos Aires (2022); El Dije, Mexico (2021); Museo Enrique Larreta, Buenos Aires (2021); Steve Turner LA, Los Angeles (2019); Casa de Victoria Ocampo, Buenos Aires (2019); Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC), Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2017); Steve Turner LA, Los Angeles (2016); Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires (2016); 3rd Montevideo Biennial, Uruguay (2016); La Maison Rouge - Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris (2015); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); The Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires (2013); 11th Lyon Biennal (2011); among others. In September 2018, Lamothe also took part in Basel Cities Public Art Program in Buenos Aires, curated by Cecilia Alemani. She was awarded the Art Dubai residency programme (2019), the Lichter Art Award in Frankfurt, Germany (2011) and the Kuitca Scholarship from Torcuato Di Tella University, Buenos Aires (2010-2011).

João Vilhena graduated from Villa Arson, Vilhena practices drawing and painting from a neoconceptual position. His work is and has always been, led by the interest he takes in the role of the beholder. For the artist, a work is made by the look upon it, which activates it and creates its meaning. A virtuoso of the pencil and the word, João Vilhena feints, hides, substitutes, and disguises without ever unveiling what lies beyond. To this purpose, he uses different means like optical illusions, trompe l'oeils or anamorphoses, as well as works' titles spoonerisms, anagrams, and other word games.

His recent exhibitions include ‘Beau à la Louche’, at Galerie Alberta Pane, Paris 2022; ‘Troubles topiques’, group show, Centre culturel et sportif La Tour à Plomb, Bruxelles 2021; ‘Rincontrarsi a Venezia’, group show, Spazio Berlendis, Venice 2021; ‘At the End of the Day’, group show, Odunpazarı Modern Museum in Eskisehir, Turkey 2021; ‘Instructions pour couper les ficelles’ at Galerie Alberta Pane, Paris in 2020; ‘The collection of Mr. X’, The man who lived 500 years, curator: Joana P. R. Neves, at Galerie Alberta Pane in Venice in 2019.

He presented a solo show for Drawing Now Art Fair, Paris 2019 ; in 2015 he presented his work on the exhibition ‘Les fragments de l’amour', curator: Léa Bismuth, at La Traverse Contemporary Art Center, in Alfortville, France, also in ‘Recto/Verso' at the Vuitton Foundation. The same year he presented his solo show ‘Érothéisme le dessin sacré’ at the Galerie Alberta Pane in Paris. In 2015 he was exposed also in Documents 1945 - 2015, URDLA, in Villeurbanne, and in Focus de Résonance in the 13th Lyon Bienniale, among others. Marseille, and in TOUT doit disparaître, at Atelier des Vertus in Paris. In March 2023, he will participate in the 16th edition of the Drawing Now fair as a focus artist with the Alberta Pane Gallery.