Josette Simon-Gestin's Hide and Seek
March 5 - May 1, 2004
Josette Simon-Gestin’s exhibit title, Hide and Seek, was chosen to reflect the artist’s desire to question and play with the notion of “appearances.” “I wanted to go back to the taste I have always had for dresses,” says Simon-Gestin. “I bought miles of fabric, here and there. All the cities I passed through had at least one fabric store. Also, the women heroes of the “resistance” of the Second World War often inspired me. I will always remember these women biking to deliver messages or looking for food in their dresses. With Hide and Seek, I question the materiality of my paintings. "
"Paint? Fabric? Paper? Desires… What do clothes reveal? What are they hiding? Don’t clothes reveal more than they hide? The painter dresses in a smock, artist shows himself on the canvas and the woman becomes artist. Colors and forms take the front stage. What discloses the artist? What hushes the artist? The woman hangs the laundry, loses the thread of one’s thoughts. Private space, intimacy. No make-up. The woman chooses a dress, a nice dress, and she presents herself at her best. The game of hide-and-seek between the bodies that unveil themselves and the clothes stretched on the laundry line. A game of hide-and-seek between the woman who recalls being a little girl and a little girl who pretends to be a lady. She borrows high heel shoes and glossy material dresses. Fabrics tangle together, social fabrics and the multicolor fabric of the disguise and the roll of fabrics primed ready to be painted over. Is the canvas fixed up on the stretcher not only the back of a stage set? In this “mise en abime” appear other questions, the words are weaving the woof of a discourse, but don’t we say a tissue of lies? It is in this constant questioning, the tension between reality, private life, public life and art, that the answer lays.”