Mireille Loup



By manipulating different media supports - video, photography and literature - Mireille Loup uses discursive and aesthetic forms which establish cross-communication. Mireille Loup's work invites to possible representations of human kind, particularly those concerning woman and child, with contents that are always social and present-day, such as maternity, mother and child frailty, family resignation. By means of visual and audio devices, art installations, websites, publications, Mireille Loup's video art is inscribed in a deliberately crude aesthetics, often without any effects. From 1992, in all her videos and sketches there is a direct and ironic sense of humour. She writes the scripts, directs, plays and edits. Organizing these sorts of self-portrait sketches is a detailed hand-made studio work. She gets inspiration from stereotypes she stretches to the limit of tragicomedy with a visible distance. The characters she interprets, permanently bounce from ridiculous to anguished or vulgar. From the "poor young girl" to the "worst bitch", the artist's gallery of portraits relieves itself before the camera, turning us into witnesses and making us feel such a discomfort that we can only get out of it by laughing. As a comedian of repetition and situation, Mireille Loup's videos excel in the art of pun. Divorced, 2013, 21-minute broadcast Blue-Ray HD, is about women in their forties left alone to raise their children in poverty or overbooking, always on the edge, close to fracture of burnout. Out of work, filthy, sentimental, each of the roles cruelly empties us of any hint of empathy. The artist also misleads us, mixing facts and fiction by choosing autobiographical subjects. Anyway, who could best speak about women tham a woman herself? All along these production years she tells us about her own life that she destroys, rebuilds, caricatures, in a sort of catharsis of human condition which constantly refers us to humility. She manipulates life for her viewers, in a reinvented play by her schizophrenic doubles, twelve, most of the times. They get inspiration from every azymuth or stolen situation, instantly crunched in order to appease their extreme hunger of mocking the sordid and they have been reproducing for twenty years now. Mireille Loup is never alone, since she has her twelve cynic ghosts for company. Besides, history gave her the chance to find a thirteenth character and actor, yet taken from real life and not a product of her imagination. In the film Grosse, 13’ (2006), she directs her own son; from embryo to foetus, until she delivers. It’s a parody that disrupts all the clichés of the gentle pregnant woman preparing her new born son’s room. So the author's son, Côme, was born - in the flesh and not as a digital product. He would play the leading role with his mother, in Banane et petit Suisse, 6’ (2007), where mother and son choke in a fusion relation. With the silent film Epoque 2009, 4 '(2010), Mireille Loup parodies dramatic films of the early twentieth century and simulates abandoning her child due to the economic crisis. By then Côme was three and he had so much fun acting that he wouldn't stop asking her to make other films together. Mireille Loup divorced on 18th September 2012 at the age of 42. The artist keeps custody of her six year old son and then a frantic race takes place between babysitters, good will friends, artistic travelling and work organization. It's as if she was blown in the face and her daily life resembles her own videos. Sometimes life kicks you in the head and you are reminded of humility. Her friends, who are not always very polite, one must admit, are very amused and start laughing about it all: "ah! ah! You really must make us a video on it; you do have one thing or two to say!" Had she the time and she would drown her grief in opium or watching Six Feet Under. Nevertheless she hasn't got one minute to herself, ah, ah! ah, ah?! Honestly! ah! ah! she didin't feel like laughing about it, at all! And in the rare occasions she could relax, she'd find herself at dinner parties, amidst women her age or older, also divorced, raising their kids alone, stuck between bitterness, fake new love affairs, money problems and nervous breakdowns. Among her peers, Mireille Loup, elbows on the table - what good could come from good manners? - sipping a glass of rosé. It's not everything, but I must think of coming back. An so she observes, listens, takes notes from recurring facts, gestures, lies told to oneself, inconsistencies, moaning, distresses, and transient euphoria. She takes hold of every woman who, little by little, despises men before she can finally begin to love again. Well, but when? How on earth can she pay a tribut to herself and all the others, for their courage and suffering, all that still without the risk of becoming pathetic? How will she manage to explain that one must prevent at all cost the machine to stop, that acid drooling from your mouth is not attractive, that you can keep your hair clean even if you’r single, that you may have regrets but never remorse as it ruins your skin, that you are still able to please other skins, that every fox must pay his own flayer, that life is better when you smile, and that even if you feel good at home, I shall work tomorrow. So, a new video starts do show, leaving no place to commiseration. The different characters Mireille Loup incarnates one at a time for twenty years now, return one by one: the russian, the hooker, the bourgeoise, the intellectual, to name a few. They take their place into the director's mind, when she witnesses situations, and shout out "I'll take it", "I’ll have it!" each of them holding out to reach an idea they will elaborate on. Eventually, Mireille Loup begins to feel like laughing about it. It is the spring of 2013, birds chirp and the sun sings along. She asks her son to play with her, sketches of hard situations they might have gone through were it not for their happy relation and friendly environment. Côme accepts, enthusiastic for participating in a catharsis that he can turn into his own. Isn't it exhilarating to be able to play the unreasonable when you're seven and you have just reached the age of reason? She writes her sketches but this time she doesn’t self record. She chooses Héloïse Gousset, a Nîmes Beaux-arts student, who is herself the mother of a little girl, and lives in a caravan. In mai 2013, Divorced was born.

Mireille Loup

Mireille Loup was born in Switzerland, 1969. She lives and works at Arles, France. She is a photographer, a video producer and a writer. She has been represented in galleries from 1991, both in France and abroad. Graduated at Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie her works have been published since 1999. Visual and audio installations, Internet fiction, iPad apps, Mireille Loup's art serves discursive and aesthetic forms achieving cross-communication. Her work is displayed in art centres, festivals (Les Rencontres d'Arles 2005 and 2012) and also in museums, such as MAC, São Paulo (Brasil), Malraux Museum (France), MAMAC at Liège (Belgique), and Centre National des Arts in Ottawa (Canada). Her work is part of private collections as well, amidst which the Fond National d’Art Contemporain and the Metropolitan Museum of Art Library in New York. The author is represented by la Pobeda Gallery, Moscow, Galerie Brandt, Amsterdam and Dear Sir Agency, Portugal. Mireille Loup teaches History of Photography, Master 2, at Montpellier III University and Image Aesthetics at Université d'Arles Provence, Digital Imaging Department. She also intervenes in VAE at Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie at Arles and is responsible for workshops in diverse Écoles Supérieures de Beaux-Arts. Very interested for childhood problems, she regularly promotes art workshops for children and adolescents, particularly in school integration classes (CLIS) and in pedopsychiatry.

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The Monastery of São Martinho de Tibães, former Motherhouse of the English Benedictine Congregation, was acquired by the Portuguese State in 1986 and assigned to the Portuguese...

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