Bérénice Szajner: Les Liens Invisibles

"Animals are part of me, they live in me, this is why my self-portraits have a feline appearance and a human ambivalence. I am animal."

Les Liens Invisibles 

(curator: Kamila Regent)


Earth and fire... from a distant, archaic memory, Bérénice Szajner's ceramics are the resurgence of buried dreams. She works in the manner of an archaeologist, digging into herself sparingly to bring to light distant figures, forgotten trophies, suspended aesthetic snippets ....


Her repertoire draws its inspiration from nature where man and animal are linked by a sovereign and mysterious pact. Her practice, which plays with earth, water and fire, is in line with the ancestral gestures of modelling, which is the image of the creation of life as described in the sacred texts and explained scientifically: "the catalytic properties of the surfaces of clay minerals would have favoured the polymerisation of organic molecules...".


The poetic statuary of Bérénice S. has the perfumes of a melancholy that cries flowers to better remember a harmony buried in the folds of successive coverings of time. The evocative power of her proposals imbues shamanism with a creative breath. Evocation of distant dreams, her sculptures are haloed by a strangeness reinforced by the treatment of the surfaces engobed with refined colours which pictorialise the subjects.


From a Hellenic mask from which flowery tears flow to the effigy of a white cat's head marbled with dark spots, from an immaculate hair in fall to the stele of a man's foot next to an animal's paw welcoming what looks like a languid leaf, from a head with a somewhat erased collar to a feathered house... So many signs, so many conjunctions, working melancholically to remind us of the beauty of a vanished paradise!


The masks of lost illusions in the image of cruel gods are there to whisper to us the irreversible disappearance of certain animal species. Bérénice S.'s commitment is subtly situated in a vindictive and creative path of her own! Between her worlds, between the works, there are evocative silences that give rise to interpretations of possibilities in the making.


Text by Pierre Jaccaud