Virginie Louvet Gallery is pleased to present Camille Ayme’s first solo show.
Camille Ayme, who holds degrees from the Paris La Villette School of architecture and Paris-Cergy Art School, has been working consistently around the components of today’s urban environment and mobility.
Sedimentalism is an installation blending fossil energies and nostalgia, a generational portrait spanning France and North America in which roads turn into walls and wheels into writing implements.
An accidental fire spreads through the mines of Centralia, Pennsylvania. Sales of muscle cars explode in the United States.
The last mine well shuts down in the Lyon/St Étienne region (bassin Stéphanois). Birth of Camille at Clinique Michelet in St Étienne. The underground fire in Centralia has been burning for 21 years. Expropriation of the inhabitants.
Launching of CK One unisex perfume. In the schoolyard at St Louis junior high, girls grieve the death of Kurt Cobain.
Lady Di dies in a car accident. Camille starts skating, using a Powell Peralta board. James Cameron receives and Oscar for Titanic.
Centralia looses its zip code and its status as a town. The ASSE [A.S. St Étienne team] is relegated in second division.
Camille travels to Centralia in the middle of July, along her first NYC-LA crossing.
Extraction and combustion are at the core of this show, questioning simultaneously the ecological and physical impact of human activity on nature. Our positioning is at ground level, with the civilized tar covering. But signs of the underground fire rise through the cracks, and the past always returns in the exhalation of a perfume.
The photograph “Hélène, Centralia” shows a blond girl in short shorts, sitting over a broad crack in an American road top. The luxuriant vegetation and brightness of the sun detract from the catastrophic aspect of the place. Here, black is already turning to green. The writing on the road adds to the eerie feeling. The road turns into a wall, creating a most striking representation of modern ruin as touristic attraction.
The signs on the ground, whether from the wheels of a skateboard or those of a 1983 BMW 318 are the manifestation of constructive boredom. Far from the waves of Redondo Beach, Ashes to Ashes is an oil spill, a coal-like wave frozen against the white wall where it is hung, with the hollowed tracks of an unseen skater.
The abandoned car wreck in What Else Is There (a sculpture made from a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair) sits at the entrance of the gallery and reminds us of the old days of muscle cars and Friday night rallyes, when gas cost 36 cents a gallon and you read maps spread out on the hood of your car.
Camille Ayme was born in 1983. She lives and works between Paris and Saint-Etienne