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ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER | AN EXPLORATION OF FRAGILITY
October 20th 2017
Anne and Patrick Poirier are artists, architects, and archaeologists. They are also travellers, site-surveyors, and creators. Interested in civilisations, and cultures, they collect fragments of the past and present, absorbing an array of thoughts and memories that then inform their creations. For the Poiriers, their life is a series of journeys, and their work is intrinsically linked to each and every one of them.
by Tessa Yee
NEWS FROM EYESTORM
This week Eyestorm re-introduces French artistic duo, Anne and Patrick Poirier. Born in France at the height of World War II, the Poiriers both grew up in a landscape of rubble and ruin, an environment that no doubt inspired much of their interest in cultural history, and its destruction through acts of war. Having moved to Rome early on in their career, the couple abandoned their solo artistic pursuits to establish a joint practice, motivated by their shared interest in classical antiquity and Roman ruins. Working in a variety of media including photography, drawing, installation, and public sculpture, the couple’s now 40-year partnership explores themes of memory, loss, fragility, construction, and destruction.
Anne and Patrick Poirier

Fragility , 2000

46(w) x 56(h) cm
18.11(w) x 22.05(h) inches
High reflection print
Edition of 350
PRICE
$ 720.00
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Preferring not to call themselves ‘artists’ but instead, ‘architects’ and ‘archaeologists’, the Poiriers’ early projects all began with the investigation of particular archaeological sites. Using similar working methods to professional archaeologists, they carefully collected ‘memories’ of the site, including samples of dirt, stone, plants, and architectural fragments. They took photographs and notes, drew maps and diagrams, and even made casts of walls and statues using damp paper. Each of these fragments was a physical memory of the site, echoing its past splendour, but also revealing its current degraded state - a reminder of the fragile nature of our cultures and histories. At this stage of their process, there was no plan or end project in mind, and the artists were never aware what item or object would be used in the final artworks - they were simply surveyors and collectors.

When it came to constructing their artworks, the Poiriers relied on the memories and emotions that the collected material triggered, using them in various ways to create a series of works around the theme of memory. Artworks took the form of anything from constructed photographs; installations of found objects; miniature models representing entire cities; or giant life size sculptures imitating ginormous ancient structures. While some of the artworks may appear as architectural models or carefully designed scenes, they were never an attempt to reconstruct a site with scientific accuracy, and were often in fact, more inspired by mythology and imagination, than they were grounded in reality.
Anne and Patrick Poirier

Sex , 2000

46(w) x 56(h) cm
18.11(w) x 22.05(h) inches
High reflection print
Edition of 350
PRICE
$ 790.00
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In the late 1990s, the Poiriers worked on a number of photographic works, including a series themed ‘fragility’, that featured dried petals inscribed with words such as SEX, RUINS and WOUNDS. These photographs reference an earlier series that was created from rose petals collected at the Villa Adriana at Tivoli, and inscribed with the words ‘villa/Adriana/utopie’. Works such as ‘Villa Adriana, In Memory of Antinous (1979)’, combined these rose petals with other objects in a much larger installation, now part of the Tate Modern’s permanent collection in London. Eyestorm’s edition of the same subject, Sex shows arose petal and inscription captured as a photograph and enlarged significantly so that it appears as if you are looking at it through a microscope. The extreme close-up highlights the fragility of the petal, which seems to be on the verge of disintegration. Indeed, while the photographs may forever document and remain, the petals themselves would eventually degrade and the inscriptions disappear - the artists’ reference to the fragility of memory.

The Poiriers have also recently created a number of still life photographs, using withered and decaying objects such as punctured globes, moulding fruit, and dead flowers. In Eurydice an edition published by Eyestorm in 2000, the artists reference the Greek mythological story of Orpheus and his wife Eurydice who tragically died, and was unable to be saved from the grasps of the Underworld.The arranged objectsappear like a now neglected memorial to someone or something that has long passed. Perhaps previously beautiful, but now withered and dying, the state of these objectscould symbolise distant memories, and their inevitable disintegration over time.
Anne and Patrick Poirier

Eurydice , 2000

44(w) x 55(h) cm
17.52(w) x 21.89(h) inches
High reflection print
Edition of 350
PRICE
$ 720.00
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These exclusive Eyestorm photographic editions are a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire an important and accessible example of work byAnne and Patrick Poirier, whose artworks often take the form of larger scale installations or site-specific sculptures. What’s more, they illustrate the different ways in which the Poiriers have remained focused on one particular theme throughout the course of their 40-year partnership - the reoccurring theme of memory, and the very real fragility of it.

The four exclusive photographic editions, Eurydice, Fragility, Gravida and Sex are available from £504.00 and can be seen in more details on Anne and Patrick Poirier artist page here.
 
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