On the drifts of a journey around the unfeasible, useless gestures and failures to come, the work of Lorie Ballage is a dedication to tragedy as a grand ideological narrative.
Her works can be perceived as utopian errors aiming to represent the potentialities of failure - thrills which results from unfortunate events, loss of control and uncertainty. The error has an inherent aura of resistance in which resides the nuances, the mistakes, the flaws, all the things that define us as individuals.
Lorie Ballage (b.1994, France) holds a BFA from the Art Academy of Dundee, Scotland and a Master of Fine Art from the Art Academy of Bergen, Norway, where she currently resides.
“One step down the ladder, the water felt colder than expected—an unsatisfactory luck-warm touch on my foot. The chlorine tickles my nose. And a symphony of high-pitched screams and laughter from children playing in the next pool feels like overwhelming rush hours. Another step down the ladder, twisting my hips and holding tight to the sidebars. I am now facing the concrete edge of what separates gravity and unsolidness. The perpetuated movements from all this unsynchronized underwater choreography are rippling to the edges, splashing my collarbones. Third step down the ladder: What am I doing here? Last step left, water up to my neck, a gentle strangling embrace is holding me tight and calling me in. I can feel my ears looking forward to conversing with the water waves, filtering the disharmonies of overexcited kids.”
Studio17, Stavanger, Norway. 2023
Bouée de Sauvetage
Glazed stoneware, metal.
13cm x 13cm x 195 cm
Glazed stoneware, epoxy.
4,5cm × 54cm x 30 cm
Flip, Flop, Splash (Slippers)
6,5cm x 25cm x 9 cm
(x3) 180 cm x 160 cm x 2 cm
“Thirty minutes in a liquid above my body temperature. Water filled up to the rim, I intentionally forget to subtract my volume so that I can watch the water stretch around my bare skin and see the liquid escape and slip onto the now flooded tiled floor. The rag is soaked and perhaps the flood will spread beyond the bathroom, sneaking under the door. Immersed with my feet wedged under the taps, I fantasize about a bottomless world, where the rain would wet myself and freeze my face a little more. When I look at the waves slowly carving themselves onto my fingertips, I wonder how long it would take me to dissolve. Splashed by the swirl of calm water, I can not resist this untamed force.”
Bath Time explores the potential of the aqueous body by developing impractical systems such as flowing, unflowing and overflowing devices. As the intention is to represent fictitious, real and seductive anomalies, candor and playfulness are the primary languages inhabiting the project´sfantasies. While being inspired by thespatial functionality of a bathroom, Bath Time aims to grow towards a grandly dysfunctional variation ona whollyfunctional theme,questionning thestructures thatshapes oureveryday life.
The installation depicts a cartoonesque attempt to intervene on a mysterious emerging shape facing a concrete jetty. Below the barely perceptible tip, lies a large industrial engine abandoned for decades. The crane-like trebuchet sculpture depicts an uncertain gesture towards the sunken object. It is unclear whether the lines are made to extract it or to burry it further down its resting place. The location of the piece is at the intersection of a constellation of industrial, traditional and leisurely marine activities in Elefsina. The colorful visual language of the installation considers the possibilities of a cohabitation between the remains of industries and a decolonized coastline. The piece extends above and under the seascape to address the idea of the sea as a space for disposal and disappearance. Burial is lighter than retrieval, the sea carrying the weight itself. However, the vastness of the sea has vanished. One is left to contemplate the potential of scaling down and investing time into liberating spaces from objects with insignificant means perhaps, but joyfull at least.
The piece was created in collaboration with Forlane 6 Studio during the Initiator residency in the context of Eleusis 2021 European Capital of Culture.