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ISABELLE LÉVÉNEZ « NOLI ME TANGERE »

From 29 January to 07 May 2006

For the first time at the CCC, Isabelle Lévénez present the video installation Noli me tangere. Ghostly images evolve on the walls, attached like a second skin to the place they appeared. Floating images levitating or gripping onto the walls, they are multiplied by the mirrors which hang above them, intensifying the unreality to become deeper and even more dizzying.

« Noli me tangere » is a reference to a religious scene which is widely represented in the history of art. It represents the word of Christ addressed to Mary Magdalene when he appeared to her after the Resurrection. The art historian Daniel Arasse* has highlighted how ambiguous this phrase is. ‘Do not touch me’ may be interpreted as a censure associated with carnal temptation (‘Do not tempt me’), but also as an affirmation by Christ of His being represented devoid of any physical form(‘Do not touch me for I am an image’).

The piece as shown by Isabelle Lévénez plays with this duality between seduction and sensuality which movements and gestures conceal, and the worrying place of ghostly, unreal, fragile images.

This piece echoes another of the artist’s pieces playing with the loss of boundaries in terms of space and identity. In (2004), the artist’s eyes are blindfolded as she shouts this name in a kind of frenzy which is increasingly eerie. The audience is more and more affected by her panic, and is disorientated by the shifting of the image and the loss of spatial boundaries, as well as by the multiple identity of this ‘Marie’: is it her name, the name of the Virgin Mary, or the name of the person she is calling to?