Margaret Michel’s objects have
a particular character in that they are animated. Far from the
traditional static images in marble or stone or the illusional
perspective of a painted surface, they reflect a contemporary world
where the sense of passing time prevails overs the space that is
reserved for our planet.
Her works are an open field to the
probable meeting of the artist’s intuition and the spectators
imagination. Objects are presented isolated or in complex
installations that tell stories. Sound is often present, an added
element to a scenario that is unfolding. The eye is distracted by
a detail then guided by a movement.
“And the Crow Counts”, suggests the beating of a heart - systolic,
diastolic, certain reminiscences of the photographer Muybridge are
introduced into the heart of her installations. The photographic
analysis of the movement of a woman walking are illustrated both in
“Carbon 14” and in the kinetic box series "The Walk".
The artist takes hold of her potential by integrating and parodying scientific techniques.
Her constructions are light,
sensitive and elaborate, issuing from the art of assemblage and related
to the works of Rebecca Horn or certain Nouveaux Realistes. She
uses recycled objects, gears, wheels and pieces of typewriters or a
taxidermist's animals. In “Symbiotic Associations“ a motor ticks
the seconds until a spring drops a piano hammer which hits a cymbal
that resounds and travels into a space uniting us in our relational
existence, man and beast, through time.
The movement becomes the creator in
works like “The Tree” where mechanical elements draw an image which is
inseparable from the process of it’s creation. She works
with the same expressive poetry of a Jean Tinguely where the principle
of movement cannot be disconnected from life. The unfolding of a
fan opens and closes like a respiration in “Diaphanous Dance”.
Margaret Michel disassociates
objects from their initial function to give them a new reading, rich,
surprising and humorist . In “Frankenchair”, an unusually tall
chair walks with an slow ungainly gate, its large eyes, (photos of a
far away nebula taken by the Hubble telescope) peer out and question.
“The Wave”, on a panel of polished stainless steel, a glass circle the
color of the ocean moves under a mechanism from an old
typewriter. The lettered and numbered keys are lifted by each
successive wave. The scraping of the blue disc against the keys
produces a sound not unlike the pounding of a wave on the shore.
Surprising in it’s eloquence and exquisitely simple in it’s realisation
of sound and movement. It is a work that is intuitive,
where our interrogations and our fundamental doubts are concentrated on
a problematic becoming and where one reaches a single conclusion: carpe
excerpts from an introduction to the catalog, Margaret Michel by Gilbert
Perlain, Conservator of the Musee D''Art Moderne et Contemporaine de