French artist Marc Giai-Miniet miniatures, 3D theatres or boxes, are disturbing metaphors for the human condition that succeed in rattling our curiosity wide-awake.
His works form an exploration of the physicality of memory that will be shown this month at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York, as part of a solo show entitled Theatre of Memory.
Théâtre de la Mémoire (in French)exhibition opens on 11th October and will run until 8th November, 2014.
Born in Versailles, France, the 68-year-old painter comments on his website that these boxes appeared much later in his career ”…like a natural and necessary continuation, and have become an inseparable element, my painting’s accessible double.”
When Marc Giai-Miniet first created his boxes in the early 90s, he included cardboard characters in this ”ironic existential ballet”. But over time, the figures were no longer and the boxes went on to increase in size to feature scenes comprising never-ending libraries, abandoned laboratories used to conduct unidentifiable experiments, stock rooms in a state of disarray, desolate waiting rooms, interrogation rooms, prison cells, stairs, ovens, sewers, drains all became his focus. In short, the artist creates the idea of people, of a human presence, in each scene without using figures.
These mini theatres often feature chaotic libraries, where the books are stacked precariously on shelves. In fact, books are a primary and recurrent symbol for the wide-ranging record of human memory.
Nevertheless, these boxes go further than simply recalling the artist’s childhood memories. They retrace Marc Giai-Miniet’s macabre paintings; paintings that depict brains being removed from skulls for instance.