Charlie Malgat 'TONGUE STORY'

Saturday, September 9 - Sunday, October 8, 2017

SARDINE is pleased to present a playful and visceral exhibition called TONGUE STORY by French video artist Charlie Malgat. It is her first solo exhibition with SARDINE and in the United States. The show opens with a reception on Saturday, September 9, from 6 to 9 pm and runs through Sunday, October 8, 2017.

“This_ is the tongue story, of not just any tongue, 

This_ is the story of a strong and curious organ 

Who has found the vital force to break off the link 

Between itself and her original body.”

-Charlie Malgat, excerpt from her poem The Tongue Story

The work assembled in TONGUE STORY is an imaginative installation of video, poetry, and sculptural forms. The video recounts the search for the destiny of all tongues who are alienated souls and want to liberate themselves and scream their deepest desires. The poem, The Tongue Story, is the score to the video and acts as a lyrical hymn, uniting all tongues. A pile of bean bags made of latex and cotton in the shape of huge red and pink tongues, acknowledge the humor and absurdity of this idea. Creating a world where perception and sensation are both acknowledged carnally, Malgat demonstrates her commitment to the manipulation of images and ideas. According to the writer Théo-Mario Coppola,  “By investing in the aesthetics of non-sense and producing a mythological discourse on language, Charlie Malgat deconstructs the values and beliefs of the relation to corporeality.”

Her work explores the paradoxes of our contemporary world by mixing irony, digital FX, and melancholy. As an artist using digital media, she tries to create new beliefs using the potential provided by new technologies. With passion, she celebrates inside her videos the apparition of new contemporary figures and explores their aspirations.

Charlie Malgat was born in France, in 1990 and currently lives and works in Paris. From 2009 to 2014 she studied at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. In 2013, she attended an exchange program at Columbia College in Chicago, where she learned more about simulation, animation and special effects. Malgat has shown her movies at Palais de Tokyo in the program of Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid. More recently she was a part of the exhibition Take Me (I'm Yours) at the Monnaie de Paris curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and last year she showed with the Galleria Continua in The New Industrial World curated by Nicolas Bourriaud.

On the occasion of Charlie’s Malgat’s solo exhibition TONGUE STORY, SARDINE asked writer Théo-Mario Coppola to introduce her works:

Circular movements, spectacular twists, rippling ripples, the tongues are electrified, they dance. Ruffled by the new world that sees them reborn, they are excited. End of alienation! They have just left the body to which they were belonging a second before, gaining their own independence, finally acquiring a less constraining existence. Finally free! Finally alone! Can they only be happy? The small organs of taste, usually discreet and timid, promotions, bursts, swaying unhindered, the full enjoyment of existence. Tired of inhabiting the same cavity as the one seen to be born, the tongue becomes a being in its own right, leaving to the discovery of the world, exploring the unknown lands.

By investing the aesthetics of non-sense and producing a mythological discourse on language, Charlie Malgat deconstructs the values and beliefs of the relation to corporeality. Formal play, low-tech aesthetic (video sequences taken at the heart of culture You-Tube, inexhaustible database), irony against an always outdated technology, tongues choreography is a great ball of the absurd. What do we project through our bodies? Why do we have this irrepressible need of infinity, this perpetual quest for the unknown or the inaccessible? From these recurring questions emerge an abundance of situations from which Charlie Malgat extracts narrative matter to propose immersive universes. Consciousness creates singularity. Intention causes action. By dint of not speaking, of not expressing what the mind composes, one exposes oneself to the loss of a language devoid of its praxis. This dangerous game could make us lose our tongues. In escaping, they lose the word but gain a joyful, lively and communal freedom. This new tribe exercises and formulates its new rites, in hallucinate incantations, in search of a new vital force. The original musical composition that accompanies the poem Charlie Malgat finished writing this story full of derision, worthy of Lewis Carroll or surreal atmosphere of the novels of Georges Limbour.

The space of the gallery becomes a colorful microcosm, vibrating to the rhythm of the clicking of tongues. We would like to extend ourselves also to these great crazy tongues so that they calm us and listen to them talk about them, their little stories, their personal torments, their loneliness. Perhaps they are waiting for some strokes in return, hoping to live also moments of sweetness. These tongues of malice maintain an aesthetic proximity with the demiurgic Golem of Niki de Saint Phalle in Jerusalem, an enormous head endowed with three slide tongues or the chair Tongue F577 of Pierre Paulin, object of a formal derision. For Charlie Malgat, this allegorical design is more organic, in the legacy of the precepts of Gaetano Pesce and the achievements of Louis Durot. It is the joyous tongue of laughter, the organ that connects the world to words and its twists.

 As for his earlier projects Mother Earth, an experience in virtual reality in the reconquest of the moon, or Zero Gravity, the impossible encounter of a couple in weightlessness, the body is the place of an experience of anticipation. The bodies are again put under the pressure of their own desire. The sensations are heckled. Charlie Malgat does not condemn post-modern desires. She does not separate them from history. On the contrary, she exposes human desire to the force of illusions, allowing us to glimpse other chimeras that have passed through the centuries. There is no question of isolating a moment in our history to evoke a golden age but rather to build bridges between works, between images, between stories. With the repetition of the myths arise the primitive engines of human action: desire, fear, power. It is the eternal triad that Charlie Malgat reshapes in fantastic or scientific scenarios, crossed by the poetry of the ego and the discomfort of the ego persecuted by a teeming environment. It is the counterpart of a broader reflection on the flesh, as for the HD Steak, a project of anticipation where the material is emancipated from human technological ambitions.

 The Tongue Story is an existentialist fable. It recalls, from a more mainstream perspective, the characters of the animation studios, like Pixar, fighting against human dementia, inhabited by the instinct of all power. The allegory of the figure becomes a quasi-adolescent hymn, the bearer of the rebellion against the state of the world. Behind the laughing facade is the tragedy of alienation and resignation. In the end, the tongue is only another oneself, driven by revolt or condemned to eternal silence.

 -Théo-Mario Coppola