Julie Polidoro’s paintings appear in all of their phases and diverse motifs as diagrams – that is, as elucidations of the forces at play in a work of art.
Diagrams favor drawing, because drawing can spread itself out over a surface without confusion and is not discouraged by color.

Dense and unambiguous colors predominate in Julie Polidoro’s paintings; colors that she applies flatly and with discreet contrast. Her work is thus cerebral as well as sensual. It is what she calls, “the elasticity between the visible and the invisible,” an eminently diagrammatic definition.

It is a given that the painting of the moderns (but exactly when and where did that begin?) has concerned itself with making visible that which can’t be portrayed, composing chaos and making evident the lines of force at play in an art works… Vermeer is a diagram, and so are Cézanne, and Mondrian, and Bacon as well! Not to mention Duchamp, who uses the term itself.

Polidoro deals mostly with places and bodies, or rather, corporeal territorialities. A territory is a body become place, the map of that body.

And the map, in the painting of the moderns, is anything but Euclidean.

Euclid chose to work with only one axiomatic, as if all the possible multiplicities could be oriented in a single plane.

But the axiomatic of a single plane is not enough to define Paul Klee’s or Bonnard’s surfaces. In addition to this, we know that topology (aberrant curvature through torsions) opens the eye and the mind to other topoi.

Julie Polidoro works in the midst of such multiple and fluid stratifications. No sooner has she defined a place, that it is already crisscrossed, telescoped and scarred by a series of others. Her diagrams are heterogeneous even though they attempt to survey and unify everything.

Polidoro’s sky-charts are both those of constellations of bodies and their organs, as well as those of their spilling-over and voids. The same goes for the bodies: they would like to be organic, whole, organizations, yet they immediately unfold and transform themselves into accordions, that is, folding and unfolding non-Euclidian surfaces, very akin to the facets of Cubism. Animals know this and they deal with it via basic marking signs.

There is a lot of animalness in Polidoro’s painting, and not only because of her use of images of animals. Both in ethology and in art, territory is not exactly about its center, nor is it thought from its center out, or as Polidoro would say: “This translates into a lack of center.”

In fact, her painting aims for the edges, the fringes, the extensions, the frontiers, everything spreads out: the foods in a refrigerator, the humans in a waiting room, the arms extended. We find here something of the dreamtime charts of the Australian aborigines, or of highway maps or computers’ algorithmic diagrams. A primitiveness that invents and builds itself, without having the postmodern temptation to quote the elders. When one is a mapmaker in painting, one has no need for quotations.

There is no ecological agenda in Polidoro’s work.

Her refrigerators don’t tell you what you should eat.

Her figures don’t try to give us guidance.

Her animals are not in need of protection. For her, it is a matter of “creating relationships between worlds that are separate in language.” There is no doubt that in reality everything is already linked. To make art, to represent things, is to automatically rend reality by introducing the disjunction of signs. Hence, to want to connect everything and refuse separations becomes strictly impossible.

Or else: long live the monochrome, a large blue capable of covering the Mediterranean! The long sentence without beginning or end that is the world’s noise! Consequently, Julie Polidoro works on sorts of encyclopedias and panoramas for mending. She tries to patch life and art through painting, resewing, re-mounting, gluing, showing, as in a film, the debris of the world as one.

And what of human beings in all of this? Like for the “soul” – we shall see to that later. We have suffered enough from an Occidental art that imagines man as center of the universe and seed of perception; it is time to move on to another vision, at the risk of losing the established status of the work of art (its curvature included).

Perhaps Polidoro would like to paint a map of the world free of communication engineers. To understand nothing and yet feel enlightened. A painting, that is not disquietingly strange yet still connected to its egocentricity, but that is absolutely strange, a totally other cartographic map.

What else can be said about a body that instead of giving sense to the world, like Leonardo’s Apollonian athlete become logo for Manpower, it presents itself as a relay of relays. Network diagrams have replaced anatomy. The universe itself has reduced itself into “pluriverses”. How is it possible then to paint in the midst of this? The response seems evident to me: it will either have to be a new kind of reticular painting or else the old miserable painting; networks or tatters. In her own way, Julie Polidoro belongs to a constellation of artists in which Christopher Wool, Albert Oehlen and Julie Mehretu shine. From this point of view, the body of the painter and that of the painting don’t result in the oneness of the world, as phenomenology would still want it. There are neither organisms nor substances. Only constellations.

What Polidoro charts are the networks that power a sort of rhythmic round that is totally unfamiliar to us.

I will dare conclude by saying that under its calm and lucid exterior, here lies painting that is full of drama.

But paradox is the essence of art. Polidoro states: “There are multiplicities linked to one another, according to each moment.” It is a dance in fact.

There is no other way to find a working relationship between the One and the multiplicities (un art and in life), than to dance with the gaze. And what if these paintings were diagrams for choreography? And this, in the moment, asking that the work of art make timelessness extensible.