Temple of Love - To hide

Image: Gaëlle Choisne, Lie close to our ancestors (detail), 2020–2022, 7 x 2 m, Courtesy Air de Paris

Presented at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, “Temple of love – To hide” is a new phase of “Temple of Love” – a long term project aiming at a global reunification of the living through the concept of love. This exhibition, freely inspired by the chapter “To hide” in Roland Barthes’s “Fragments of a lover’s discourse”, is resolutely oriented towards self-reconstruction through the sharing of experience, connection to one’s ancestors, respect for heritage, and inner corporal harmony.

“Accumulation primitive” (2019-2022) is a movie, the first images of which were recorded in 2017 — the
interview of Madame Café, a blind, Haitian voodoo priestess whose ability to heal children earned her the title “docteur-feuille” — “leaf doctor” in English. GAËLLE CHOISNE took these images as the starting point of a wider project of interviews with feminine and transfeminine people, investigating their condition as racialized women in contemporary societies. Among these figures are artist and producer Christelle Oyiri, or even Choisne’s mother, Marie-Carmen Brouard.

GAËLLE CHOISNE’s “Accumulation primitive” is a truly kaleidoscopic series of portraits, inspired by Silvia Federici’s essay “Caliban and the witch” (2017). It presents itself as a pocket of resistance composed of women who have developed the ability to “heal” through diverse media and disciplines: creation of communities, family caring, music, “alternative” medicine… These women are imagining “side paths” in reaction to the “primitive accumulation” of capital as theorized by Karl Marx in “The Capital” — one of the many exogenous effects on racialized people being dispossession of their tru e being and free will.

A long-term video production, “Accumulation primitive” is part of a wider installation, in which it mirrors another work considered by the art ist as its doppelganger: “Primitive amnesia” (2019-2022). The movie mixes a selection of found footage videos of women’s protests in France, Brazil or Haiti, with close-up shots of flowers recorded by the artist in Normandy during the lockdown.

The installation, presented for the first time at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, presents itself as a safe space imagined for selfcare, and caring for others. One is invited to drink soothing concoctions, or to receive healing energy … Beyond the two videos, the visitor is invited to rest on “Lie close to your ancestors” (2022), a monumental carpet woven by women in the Berber mountains, on which CHOISNE has pinned small portraits of inspirational figures. In an other room, the video “Ahuehuete 11111” (2022) introduces the visitor to a bimillennial tree planted in Santa Maria de Tule in Mexico, filled with an incredible energetic and vibratory force.

For more information on the art ist, please visit: www.bethanien.de or www.gaellechoisne.com

GAËLLE CHOISNE (France/ Haiti) currently holds a KfW Stiftung scholarship for the International Studio Programme at Künstlerhaus Bethanien. Other KfW Stiftung scholarship holders participating in the International Studio Programme in 2021/2022 are Daniel Lie (Indonesia/ Brazil), Hamlet Lavastida (Cuba), and Aziz Hazara (Afghanistan). KfW Stiftung is an independent, non-profit foundation established in october 2012. Its goal is to create space for different ways of thinking, and for diversity in the economy, ecology, society and culture. Promoting cultural diversity in the field of arts and culture is one of its top priorities. To foster intercultural dialogue, KfW Stiftung offers artists from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia the opportunity to live and work in Berlin for twelve months and to participate in Künstlerhaus Bethanien’s International Studio Programme.

For further information about the exhibition, please contact presse@bethanien.de.

For further information on the programme, please contact: Daniela Leykam, Programme Manager Arts & Culture, KfW Stiftung info@kfw-stiftung.de.

19.05. – 12.06.2022
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm
Admission free

7pm - 10pm