Since her childhood, Laurence Aëgerter has cultivated a passion for paintings and antiques, encyclopaedias and practical manuals, museum catalogues and images. In 1993, she left France for the Netherlands, where she has lived and worked ever since, to pursue studies in art history and later, the visual arts. Fascinated by masterpieces, as well as the smallest everyday objects, she relentlessly marvels at the beauty of things and the infinity of their perceptions.
Inspired by both its architecture and its collections, the exhibition weaves its way from room to room and into the garden, inventing disturbing and stimulating resonances with the works. Touched by their grace but also their fragility, Laurence Aëgerter attempts to take care of these sleeping objects and to offer them a new life.
The artist's proposal for the Petit Palais reflects her insatiable curiosity for a space with which she has maintained a visual, sensitive and poetic correspondence for over two years. The devices she imagines are fuelled by the desire for escape. Through the revelation of the reverse side of reality , vacillating between illusion and reality reality , she constructs stories. Her scenarios provoke collisions and shifts, where chance and imagination invite themselves to the table of creation. Inspired by the principle of the mirror or the trompe-l'oeil, she likes to invert situations and open up other fields of possibilities when it comes to representing the world.
The permanence of memory, the passage of time and the precariousness of human lives recur throughout her work. As if to better exorcise these themes, she devises a joyful promenade that plays with superimpositions, duplications and metamorphoses. The photographs, sculptures and textile works that she creates are proof that it is possible to play with the ghosts of our past. In this unexpected journey, Laurence Aëgerter accompanies us across several centuries of art history and reinvents the museum by infusing it with a breath of new life.
Fannie Escoulen (guest curator), Susana Gállego Cuesta, Christophe Leribault, Clara Roca (Petit Palais curators)
This exhibition was produced thanks to the Mondriaan Fund
It benefits from the support of the Dutch Embassy