20.08.10 Helga Steppan in 'Parallelistic l'imitation' solo exhibition at Château de Sacy, France

Sign up to receive the Man&Eve newsletter

The newsletter is a low-volume email and lets you know of events and exhibitions at the gallery. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Saturday September 4 to Sunday October 3
Château de Sacy, 1 rue Verte, 60190 Sacy-le-Petit, France

Private View: Saturday September 4, 4-8 pm
Artist Talk: August 14, 4-6 pm

In ‘Parallelistic l’imitation’ Helga Steppan has used the architectural features of Château de Sacy as her starting point. The resulting sculptures – geometric forms, constructed from mirrored surfaces and photographs of the spaces that they inhabit – immediately disorientate, interrupting and disrupting the spaces that they inhabit. In these fictitious environments, part mirror image, part photographic representation, we are both reflected and at another turn made absent. As the title of the exhibition suggests, the works allude to parallel universes, but Steppan’s other worlds are illusionary – an imagining and imitation of multi-dimensional space – and are therefore ultimately limited in their possibilities. We cannot pass through the invisible boundary of the mirrored surface or that of the photograph to enter into them.

Drawing influence from the utopian architectural designs of the 1950’s and 1960’s, from ‘Architectures Fantastiques’ and Le Corbusier’s belief in the mathematical order of the universe, Steppan’s at first perplexing structures, create worlds within worlds. The mirror, historically representational of a gateway into other dimensions or entry point into the subconscious, leads us into a never ending labyrinthine gaze. It is a ‘tricked gaze’ but as Michel Foucault has also written, the mirrored world is a both a utopia – a space which is ‘fundamentally and essentially unreal’ in which we simultaneously are present but also not – and a ‘heterotopia’, a space between the real and utopian. In Steppan’s works, the relationship between what is real, what is reflection and what is reproduction draws our attention to the fact that what we are witnessing is an illusion, bringing our awareness back to our own place in space and time.