The convergence of urbanism and landscape is the foundation of my work. Through the use of photography-based research, I observe social structures. I address the ideas of absence, romanticism, representation, and authenticity of experience.
In my photos, I use the myth of primal nature and confront it to settlement and gatherings, observing how our relation to landscape has turned into a spectacle. To better understand our current social phenomena, I follow parades, tourist itineraries; I visit gated communities and national parks.
My screen prints represent a landscape that is both majestic and oppressive, while the halftones – or the use of “pop” colors and rusty metal sheets – degrade the image and produce a dichotomy of the wild and the tamed. We find ourselves caught between a romantic vision of a raw, virgin land and the artificiality of a commercial shot.
My series of texts are composed by erasing most of the material from press articles or interviews. Between automatic writing and poetry, a fragmented landscape is being built: strong yet disjunctive visuals come to mind, creating a space of its own. In the series “Beasts,” substantial parts of the landscapes have been removed. Human interventions, as well as the projection of desires on the natural world are missing. Thus, “[…] we are reminded that [images and] texts – even those that appear complete – are inherently full of gaps. As such, we fill in meaning based on our own experiences, perception and desires. (1)”
Working with a diversity of media results in some panoramic story. I illustrate the search for an “ideal” landscape or for some peace of mind, balancing back and forth between chaotic and peaceful visions. It is a collection of encounters, sensory experiences, and feelings while making our way through life and getting lost in unconstrained thoughts.
(1) This Must Be the Place, a text about Deborah Farnault’s work by Barbara Adams and David Peppas, 2012
Artist Bio / CV
Deborah Farnault (b. 1983, in Paris, France) earned a BFA from the ESAD Academy of Fine Arts, France, and a MFA from both the ESAD Academy of Fine Arts, France and KUVA National Academy of Fine Arts, Finland. She has exhibited in France, Sweden, and the USA, including solo and group exhibitions at the following venues: Chashama Gallery, New York; Littlefield Gallery, New York; Syndicat Potentiel, Strasbourg; Chelsea Museum of Art, New York; La Chaufferie Gallery, Strabourg; Dumbo Arts Center, New York; Charles Bank Gallery, New York. Her work has been presented in two international fairs: St-Art, Strabourg; Supermarket, Stockholm. In November 2012, she will present a solo project at Spazio Morris, a contemporary art center in Italy. Her work has been purchased by the Art Library of the City of Strasbourg, a public collection in France, and was featured in the Montrouge Salon for Contemporary Art, a French creation prize. She was awarded four residencies: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space Program, New York; The Old American Can Factory, New York; and the NIS/Treignac Projet, France for two consecutive years. Several texts were produced about Farnault’s work by curator Joanna Zielinska, critic Vivian Rehberg, artist Sam Basu, as well as sociologists Barbara Adams and David Peppas. Her work has been published in France and England, as well as reviewed in the press. In 2011 and 2012, she was also invited as a visiting artist to present her work at Parsons The New School for Design, New York. She currently lives and works in New York.