A short text on the work of Julie Polidoro

The painting of Julie Polidoro corresponds to an unpublished circumnavigation of the world, a mapping which brings together places, objects and people on the same plane; it is a movement through images using what she herself has defined as mobile hierarchy.

A quels territoires j’appartiens? the artist asks herself; she seems to reply, to the outer edge. No priorities of sense exist in this artist’s research; her sense is simply to go, rather than to question, to wonder what is the synthetic translation of those split seconds and incidents in the act of looking. It is through this process that the artist makes place, through an exercise of cataloguing which captures and lays as sediment in a future memory, from which emerge fragile equilibriums between space and place, between the imaginary and the real, between individual and group. Her gaze makes notes which melt into a single plane consisting of hints of identity, remains of everyday tools, slight traces of collective spaces and domestic rooms. Polidoro’s painting is a multiple and contradictory space, an interweaving which develops through changing pace, wandering and parallel motions. And here time seems almost to stand still, yet it is not quite absent. It passes, gently, while the figures, the places and objects bear with them a shadow, a margin. Because it is the margin which the artist looks at – from a position on the outer edge which does not exclude the centre but encompasses it and marks the spaces, territories and limits which pass from one picture to another and another. Julie Polidoro’s pictures then become occasions which meet up with all the items we encounter through life: the things we touch in a single day, our everyday routes, the food we consume, its cost, spaces we pass through and private interiors. In many works the artist prepares the structure – more outline than painting – using a few lines that set out the overlap of places, hinting at situations they refer to and passing through interiors, moments of waiting, anonymous spaces, journeys, objects seen and reproduced in her own peculiar style, consisting of the application of a hitherto unexplored visual logic. Cut off and suspended lines, zones of colour, diverse and similar subjects, a jumble apparently lacking in linear interlinking but which becomes, on closer analysis, the formation of a map which is always determined by its complexity, without heeding the need for a definitive raison d’ĂȘtre in the meaning of the picture. There is no fidelity in the recording of what is real and in its hierarchies; it is impossible to decipher real or imaginary places; space, like identity, is simply hinted at.

Vivant dans l’impermanence, mon identite est elastique: thus this French artist defines herself and her work, dimensions which collide in a particular coexistence of planes; figurative and existential. Things, space and people occupy the same radius of visibility – but they are at antipodes yet contiguous at the same time.

“He hid in the space between the fridge and the window without smiling at me, then started to walk, taking first a big step then a little one, then another big one, always treading on the white tiles, never on the grey ones; if by mistake he went on a grey one he went back to the fridge.”



* The title of the text and the citation is borrowed from the writer Antonio Lobo Antunes.