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Prix Garde-fou 2022- Marie-Félix

Since 2010, Folie/Culture has supported emerging artists by awarding the Garde-fou Prize to new graduates of the Université Laval’s visual and media arts program.

The prize, a $750 scholarship, is awarded to graduates whose work stems from unorthodox research that aligns with Folie/Culture’s mission.

We are pleased to award the 2022 Garde-fou Prize to Marie-Félix for her piece Ici gît le gisant rose.

Congratulations!

Marie-Félix, Ici gît le gisant rose, 2022, porcelaine et paillettes iridescentes,100 X 30 X 45 cm.

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The irregular form of the curious ceramic mobile appears to slice through the ether in which it floats unbound. It’s more than a mobile, it’s a shell, says Marie-Félix. An important distinction, since it brings to light certain contradictions: even as a shell can be a place to shut in and block out, it can also be a place to live, heal, and seek refuge. As a home, as an envelope, a shell is protective: it’s a place to withdraw that shields its inhabitants from piercing gazes and keeps instabilities and weaknesses of all kinds secret by showing the world a solid, unbreakable face.

Yet this shelter, this fortress where we can retreat, lizardlike, is in peril. Marked by cracks and breaches, this shell fragment by Marie-Félix can no longer hide its vulnerability.

And it’s better for it, because even through its flaws, the piece sparkles, catches the light, and cloaks itself in stars.

The tension between the medium chosen by the artist—ceramic being intensely, innately vulnerable to destruction—and the precariousness of its display, where the piece literally hangs by a thread, evokes a certain malaise, an uneasiness born from something threatened by breakage and always in conflict with the uninhabitable world it inhabits. It’s precisely because Marie-Félix brought this fragility to the gallery, giving it a discreet presence that puts human flaws and their ownership on display, that Folie/Culture presented her with this award.

Layna De Roy
For Folie/Culture