Battling Club Paname, 2014, charcoal on paper, 180 x 150 cm, Photo: Philippe Gerlach
My work comprises charcoal drawings and videos that investigate analogies between different times, places, and personas, seeking out group attitudes or patterns that reveal parallel psychological or emotional states across diverse cultural settings. Aby Warbug has theorized what he calls the “pathos formula,” an age-old theme that either lingers or reappears in later societies. For me, these persistent forms and gestures, re-enacted in different historical times and places, serve as landmarks for analyzing my generation, which has come of age in a digital era and seems to be inventing a new present of its own, one unconcerned with borders or history. Departing from my own experience and family heritage, shaped by my painter ancestor Eugène Burnand and the liberal Protestant culture of my upbringing, I turn to other sociocultural groups in search of their living visual legacy.
Céline Burnand is founding member of the Collectif RATS, Vevey, Switzerland.