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Paola Siri Renard
(FR)
  • Paola Siri Renard

Paola Siri Renard’s practice investigates Western architecture, natural processes and collective imaginary. Through appropriation of prevailing architectural forms and play with defence narratives ; her transitional-state sculptures explore metamorphosis, bodies disintegrating and morphing into fictional constellations. Renard’s work questions the treatment of legacy, its dissemination and the exclusionary underpinnings of specific identities - echoing her mixed heritage history.

Exhibition view, *Publiek Park*, Antwerp, Belgium, 2023. Courtesy the artist & Spiaggia Libera, Paris. © Paola Siri Renard

Exhibition view, Publiek Park, Antwerp, Belgium, 2023. Courtesy the artist & Spiaggia Libera, Paris. © Paola Siri Renard

Text by curators Koi Persyn, Adriënne van der Werf, Anna Laganovska, Jef Declercq about (dazzling) garderobe

Paola Siri Renard’s work (dazzling) garderobe enters into a dialogue with the Monument to Peter Benoit, located at Harmonie Park, which was designed by the Belgian architect Henry Van
De Velde. In response to Van De Velde’s artistic legacy, the artist appropriates various elements of his Art Nouveau designs. Drawing from the mythical wings of Lucifer and from the water element present in the monument, she incorporates migration and adaptation narratives into hybrid shapes of unidentified insects. This sculpture becomes a tangible process of transitional states, being neither human, nor animal or vegetal, merging natural and manufactured objects of defence.

Exhibition view, *Subcutanean Ghosts*, DASH, Kortrijk, Belgium, 2023. Courtesy the artist & Spiaggia Libera, Paris. © Tim Evers

Exhibition view, Subcutanean Ghosts, DASH, Kortrijk, Belgium, 2023. Courtesy the artist & Spiaggia Libera, Paris. © Tim Evers

Exhibition view, *HISK Final Show*, Gosset, Brussels, Belgium, 2023. © Van den Bussche Vanden Bossche

Exhibition view, HISK Final Show, Gosset, Brussels, Belgium, 2023. © Van den Bussche Vanden Bossche

Text extract by curator Elsa Coustou about (dazzling) garderobe:

Similarly, the metal section of (dazzling) garderobe is akin to a prosthetic system that, like mechanical arms, articulates the pieces of sculpted wings, allowing them to move. They appear to possess the mechanical power to repair any flaws. These metal arms are based on the “instruments for operating on mutant women” used by David Cronenberg’s gynaecologist Beverly Mantle in Dead Ringers (1988), a film broaching identity illusion. (Dazzling) garderobe can represent two twin entities that are one and the same, animated by an outside hand via the steel arms embedded in their flesh, in the deepest recesses of their intimacy.

Exhibition view, * – what will you be then Oneiroi? – glamour*, 2022, de Appel, Amsterdam, NL. Courtesy the artist & Spiaggia Libera, Paris. © Sander van Wettum

Exhibition view, – what will you be then Oneiroi? – glamour, 2022, de Appel, Amsterdam, NL. Courtesy the artist & Spiaggia Libera, Paris. © Sander van Wettum

Text extract by curators Chala Westerman, Monika Georgieva, Melissa Appleton, Ka-Tjun Hau about - what will you be then Oneiroi? - glamour:

Paola Siri Renard adds a second tentacle to super feelings and responds to the material residues of blue light and sand left by Jota Mombaca and Tessa Mars at the close of episode 1. -what will you be then Oneiroi? – glamour consists of a series of sculptural mutants, washed up gently on the sandy floor and hanging in the Aula’s airspace. The ‘Oneiroi’ of the episode’s title refers to the winged daemones (spirits) of Greek mythology. Each night the messengers were believed to carry dreams to mortals through two gates: one made of horn bringing truthful and prophetic dreams and the other of ivory, bringing only false and meaningless dreams.

Exhibition view, *Subcutanean Ghosts*, DASH, Kortrijk, Belgium, 2023. © Tim Evers

Exhibition view, Subcutanean Ghosts, DASH, Kortrijk, Belgium, 2023. © Tim Evers

Text extract by curator Elsa Coustou about Subcutanean Ghosts:

Reminiscent of the remains of buildings once excavated and partially reassembled, Paola Siri Renard’s sculptures erect (once again) before us, spread out on the floor, suspended from the ceiling or anchored to the wall, beckoning viewers to confront them. The hybrid union between these architectural ruins and the steel elements supporting them like braces mending a bone fracture yields almost cyborg-like pieces. They are like remains of columns, frontispieces, cornices, and ornamental friezes becoming protective structures for human and animal bodies. These works suggest such defensive or restorative envelopes as carapaces, rib cages, membranes, splints, and armours, thus depicting human and animal bodies in a hollowed-out form. Relics that have become extensions of the body and its movements, the sculptures are intended as augmented beings and new means of defence in the face of the control of bodies in society – their regulation, their normalisation.

Exhibition view, *Another Land*, PILAR, Brussels, Belgium, 2023. © Tim Evers

Exhibition view, Another Land, PILAR, Brussels, Belgium, 2023. © Tim Evers

Paola Siri Renard studied at Tokyo Geidai (2016) and graduated from the École des Beaux-Art Paris (2017). She continued at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2019-21) and was a resident at HISK Belgium (2022-23). She was nominated for the 9ème Bourse Révélations Emerige 2022 (Paris) and commissioned by Publiek Park 2023 (Antwerp). Installations and performances have been shown at De Appel (Amsterdam, NL), Dash (Kortrijk, BE), Krone Couronne - contemporary art centre (Biel, CH), Galeria Jaqueline Martins (Brussels, BE), Institut Français (Madrid, ES), Fondation Fiminco (Paris, FR), Kunstverein Mischpoke (Mönchengladbach, DE), La Maréchalerie - CAC (Versailles, FR), Art Biesenthal (Berlin, DE), among others.
Paola Siri Renard has been selected for the WIELS Residency Program 2024 (Brussels).