Our art heroine gave herself a year to explore without thinking in bills or paying any rent, without a mortgage to feed every month. And while we are convinced, exquisitely, that our coming-of-age rituals go through those tons of invoices to be met, artists always show us a better way. Let’s take a pen today and write over a dollar, in this goddess we now trust.
And Camille’s poetic 2018 was in her own words one of the most formative years of her entire life, “it allowed me to try things without judgment and with nothing to lose” she says. And we are so grateful for that, and so is The Ballon Rouge, the space in Brussels where she is presenting her latest solo-exhibition, Suburbcel. Soulat uses the past to talk about the present, and plays with a nostalgic universe of pixels, renders and over-saturated colours to evoke a time where faxes spat out the positivism of the 90s. We asked her about her references, and Marguerite Duras is one who reigns among others within her personal Olympus. And we can imagine, indeed, a broken fax machine singing over the paper the unconnected moans of The Lover. Or as Camille says, creating these intimate but distant images, clinical and fleshy unapologetic statements; “She puts the metaphysical into mundane things and subjects”.
And the name of the exhibition take us to a place where apparently nothing really happens. Suburbcel as a geographical state of mind. The suburbs as a boundary. And undoubtedly this topic has written millions of books, plays or movies, because there is something about it that greatly perturbs us. From Blue Velvet to Gummo, the calm before the storm. Camille says that with the name she wanted to evoke the frustration of coming from the suburbs, the provinces, far from where everything seems to be happening; “it echoes envy and exclusion”.
But maybe, could these outskirts be the place where a trained eye can find great topics? Has the Internet forever broken the well-established geographical hierarchies? I don't know, we don’t know, nobody does, because the Internet is just happening. Nonetheless, Camille Soulat has found the way to use this very recent nostalgia, this new-born internet vintage imagery to build her own discourse as an artist, or as she says, ”what we consider low quality images sometimes make things more intimate, less staged, raw, they evoke a simpler time”.