exhibition « Noli me tangere »
29 January to 07 May 2006
For the first time at the CCC, Isabelle Lévénez is showing the video installation entitled “Noli me tangere”. Ghostly images evolve on the walls, sticking to them like a second skin whence they appeared. Floating images, levitating or clinging to the surface of the wall, multiplied by the effect of mirrors hanging over them, heightening the sense of the unreal and becoming deeper and more dizzying.
‘Noli me tangere’ is a reference to a religious scene which is widely represented in the history of art. It represents the word of Christ addressed to Mary Magdalene when he appears to her after the Resurrection. The art historian Daniel Arasse* highlights the ambiguity of this phrase. “Do not touch me” can be heard in a hostile way and linked to physical temptation (“Do not tempt me”), but also as an affirmation by Christ of a state of being, one where he no longer has any physicality (“Do not touch me as I am an image”).
The work presented by Isabelle Lévénez plays with this duality between the seduction, and sensuality concealed in the movements and the postures, and their unsettling state of being unreal, fragile ghostly images.
This piece contains echoes of another piece by the artist which plays with the loss of spatial and identity-related bearings. In “Marie” (2004), the artist is blindfolded and shouts this name in a frenzy that becomes increasingly difficult to listen to. Bit by bit her panic is transmitted to the spectator, who is disoriented by the rocking image and the loss of bearings, both in spatial terms and in terms of the multiple identities of this “Marie”: is this the name of the Virgin Mary or a person she is calling out to?…