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Vanessa Billy

*1978 Geneva, lives and works in Zurich www.vanessabilly.com/

  • Mémoire Cellulaire (marine) 2019 / 2020
  • Heliogravure
  • Edition of: 20
  • Size: 60,00 cm x 49,00 cm
  • Production: Arno Hassler, Moutier
  • CHF 580.00
  • Sold
  • Inquiry
  • Mémoire Cellulaire (sanguine) 2019 / 2020
  • Heliogravure
  • Edition of: 20
  • Size: 60,00 cm x 49,00 cm
  • Production: Arno Hassler, Moutier
  • CHF 580.00
  • available
  • Inquiry

Vanessa Billy's Mémoire Cellulaire consists of two contrasting heliogravures with identical subjects: a silicone cast of a shrimp photographed on dried layers of paint. The motif of the shrimp already aroused Vanessa Billy's interest several years ago, because the ancient creature evokes the beginnings of the history of evolution and its shape also reminds us of the early stages of human life. In the present day, however, shrimps are mainly synonymous with industrially cultivated delicacies enriched with artificial substances. The shellfish thus combines two recurring aspects in Vanessa Billy's work: her interest in evolution and transformation on the one hand, and the examination of artificial as well as organic materials and their effects on humans and the environment on the other.

It is not surprising that Vanessa Billy has chosen heliogravure, an analogous technique in which a wide variety of substances come into play and are processed in complex processes. Together with the printer Arno Hassler, the artist has tested and examined the effect of different colour combinations. The refined contrasts and subtle colour gradations create a feeling of depth and transform the image of the silicone cast into a kind of negative. The special image quality of the heliogravure underlines the archaic, scientific aura of Billy's photography. The colours, on the other hand, pick up on the unnatural character of the farmed shrimp and give the classic aesthetics of heliogravure a contemporary, poppy, striking touch.

With Mémoire Cellulaire (Cellular Memory) Vanessa Billy evokes physical sensations, which in the blue version are connected with the sea and in the red version with physicality. The two colour versions thus show the influence of colour on our perception. From the shrimp to the silicone cast to the heliogravure, on the picture plane the different elements and working steps finally merge, so that a completely new unity is created and the artistic interventions carried out are no longer clearly visible.

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