Karine Payette: Capture
Art Mûr Leipzig
Spinnereistraße 7, Halle 4b
Abstract from a text by Nancy Webb
In Payette’s suite of anthropomorphic works, the demarcation between species grows faint. A photographic series depicts the slow encroachment of fur, scales and feathers on human skin—a striking process of contamination facilitated by touch. The fusion of flesh, charcoal cat fur and a pale silky dress in one of the photographs speaks to the deft textural play that characterizes Payette’s practice.
The imagery in Capture is otherworldly, borrowing from dark fairy tales, science fiction, nightmares; all things feral are plucked from their contexts and uncomfortably domesticated. Humanness is also askew. Disembodied silicon arms recall that childhood moment of misrecognition when dolls and figurines were so close to being real, save for their unnatural, rubbery skin and sterile, manufactured smell. The surreal and hyperreal collide, but the illusion is so precise that it often spurs a double take.
The hybrid scenarios in this exhibition are alternatingly menacing and intensely intimate, mimicking the ingredients of human-animal connection. Bridging the species divide is unpredictable but necessary, always requiring some combination of risk and trust. Payette’s series holds a distorted magnifying glass to the exact moment of fissure, the precise point at which we delineate our differences.