The works of Béatrice Bissara
French artist Béatrice Bissara is interested in identity, especially in a pluralist identity, which builds itself in time and space. Two of her recent works, ‘Big Bang’ and ‘Entre Deux Mondes’, exhibited at Art Basel Miami in 2015, explore paradoxes of identity and of a world where order is a result of chaos.
In ‘Big Bang’, circles of various colors define an illusory and finite realm of existence as the home of tiny characters methodically arranged into groups based on color to differentiate them, yet keeping the nature of the relationship with the other uncertain. Individual identities are dissolved in the crowd that becomes the main focus. And inside the crowd a state of tension, sometimes of confrontation and confusion emerges, while the interaction between groups is limited to observation – the characters seem to examine each other without attempting to communicate outside the community or go beyond the area assigned to/ claimed by their group. Although homogeneity manifests through color, there is diversity within each group, where different typologies of characters, different social statuses, different ages or appearances combine as in real life.
‘Entre Deux Mondes’ oscillates between reality and semblance, tangible and imperceptible, and identity is fragmented and linked to memory and the personal history of the character. The body, once again defined by color, is the carrier of thoughts, emotions, but is, at the same time, falsified, distorted, divided, with absent parts indicating the impossibility of inner stability and harmony, as well as the effort to hide the true needs, the worries, the fears using objects-symbols as masks – sitting on a 18th century-style chair, wearing a fancy dress and Louboutin shoes, holding an iPhone, pretending to be fine. Then, there are the women reading during lunch time, with untold stories written on their clothes, waiting, perhaps for the unexpected to happen, for their desires to be fulfilled.
Béatrice Bissara invites us to look closely into the essence and mind of her characters, to discover the contradictions, the similarities with our own world, and use the visible parts of her work to decode what we sometimes fail to see and acknowledge.
ENTRE DEUX MONDES
Images © Béatrice Bissara