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"Anxiété cartographique" exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit
"Anxiété cartographique" exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit
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These Parisian Artists Are Conquering Anxiety in Innovative Ways

Picture of Jade Cuttle
Updated: 9 March 2018
A new exhibition called “Anxiété cartographique” (cartographic anxiety) is taking over an edgy gallery space in Paris’s 3rd arrondissement. The featured artists map internal, emotional landscapes to produce a highly innovative approach to anxiety.

The four artists of the collective “HIC SUNT” are Lucile Bertrand, Katrin Gattinger, Valentine Gouget, and Anna Guilló. They are all fascinated by the notions of drawing and cartography.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

The work of these four artists spans across the two floors of the Arondit gallery, currently taking place at 98 Rue Quincampoix, 75003 in Paris.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

They approach this common fascination of territorial boundaries through a range of artistic disciplines that include drawings, performances, installations, sculptures, and videos.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

“The anxious relationship towards ‘the border’ and ‘unstable contours’ is the subject of this first exhibition of the HIC SUNT collective,” Romain Semeteys, head of art direction, tells Culture Trip.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

The focus of the exhibition, merging notions of cartography and anxiety, draws inspiration from the Multiplication of Labor by Labor Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, who write that the contemporary debate around borders is imbued with a “feeling of cartographic anxiety.”

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

“Their artistic productions have a common focus to explore what maps say about the limits of our world. The idea is to offer another way to apprehend, ‘re-open’ and share this world,” Semeteys explains.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

“If the works question the representation of borders—political, spatial, mental, linguistic, etc.—they do not necessarily seek to have fixed answers. They strive for poetic provocation, aiming to open us up to new questions,” adds Semeteys.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

In this sense, HIC SUNT explores both finality and finiteness, and the artists are particularly sought on mapping interior fears towards these concepts.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

One artist explores the fragility of life by constructing a work entirely out of feathers, while another chooses to use the material of netting.

The feathers and fraying net symbolizes our vulnerability in the face of death, as feathers and frayed threads are weak, ephemeral materials.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

A metal railing is usually a sign of safety by delineating boundaries. But in this artwork, any sense of safety is subverted by the fact that it has been toppled over to the ground, with a chaotic pattern of warping.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit

There is also a guest artist, Caroline Andrin, who is proposing a work in dialogue with the projects of the collective.

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“Anxiété cartographique” exhibition | © Romain Semeteys, Arondit