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Raphaëlle Paupert-Borne [see all titles]
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In the Days' Folds
Philippe Cyroulnik
(excerpt, p. 7)

Raphaëlle Paupert-Borne paints, draws, films, and does performances. She uses canvas and paper, as well as the paper of our past bedrooms, scenes of life which she grasps in short films which cast a spell over the world's ordinariness. She paints on found photographs which she makes large editions of. Her work is informed by her environment, people close to her and anonymous persons bumped into now and then, her journeys, landscapes, and what they convey by way of life “settings”. This does not so much involve reproducing as extracting scenes, gestures, instants and figures which will give rise to pictures, and give shape to a sense of the world, when it is incarnated in paint. In her drawing, Raphaëlle Paupert-Borne expresses the vivacity of eyes that meet, encounters, scenes from life where there is a mix of intimacy and the dazzle of the world wrenched from the throng of passers-by. She constructs the structure in order to get to the nub: a gaze, a body whose motion indicates a state, the sketch of a group or the echo of what is known as a war scene. She makes bodies, their movements and their impromptu gestures, figures and forms. Her drawings have a cast look, because in the urgency of getting it down, it is important to capture the quintessence of a present, in order to lend it something of a human condition–but without emphasis or grandiloquence. These are quick close-ups of fragments of bodies, faces, and groups, as well as the links of the décor represented by walls, buildings, cafés, squares and underground railways which form the urban grid in which the drawing develops. In the way they file past, they are city “portraits”. They might almost be the storyboard of a journey across the world, outlining the movement but without ever reducing it to a story. Not a report, but rather a sense of the world, a printout of its breathing and its blanks. By using the slide show, she amplifies them. Through the movement and succession of images, she gives her “precipitates” of the world a rhythm, and a poetics, and makes a song out of them. She appropriates snapshot-like photographs of landscapes, akin to standardized interiors. With them, she constructs scenes where the ghosts of the characters, animal and clown-like doubles of ourselves and the artist, are the echo of that Fafarelle which she used to paint recurrently and which she played in her clown acts. They actually inhabit them and metamorphose their banality and triviality, transforming them through the staggered duplication of our most harmless doings and gestures. They become the clues of a wordless and narrative-less story, somewhere between the marvellous and the melancholy.