Frédérique Nalbandian

In an increasingly virtual world, speeded up by information, Frédérique Nalbandian avoids using materials that are rigid, hard, extremely compact, preferring those that are soft, flexible and ductile, with a consistency that can be easily dominated by the artist’s hand. Frédérique likes to use plaster, soap, wax and paraffin for their ability to envelop things and objects, but also organic forms, such as man’s flesh and organs. In her work there is not a strong need for reductionism of the image as in Arte Povera, nor the need to recover the primary elements of nature, but rather the desire to recover the memory of things and the forms of pre-existing objects, reproposing them with a warm, personal language.  In some way this artist’s work is closer to the experiences of the Individual Mythologies of the Seventies, where the language of art becomes the tool for recovering the extension of the spatiality of man as a being in all his different actions and in all his imaginative faculties.Her language is that of the rediscovery of the elements scattered through our everyday world, in order to understand, from the negative point of view, their form which she later reconstructs with plaster or soap. Her way of working is to smash pieces of reality with a hammer and display them on the walls or floor of the exhibition sites.In this way she realises her project, putting these fragments in direct contact with the spectator, who is therefore involved in an aesthetic experience. By fragmenting the images in the negative, she obtains unusual and enigmatic forms, which preserve the warmth of life and, through her fingerprints left on the plaster, provide personal evidence of her action. This desire to destroy and modify reality certainly springs from an interior state, almost showing her unease, which generates and produces the game of emotions. Breaking the features of reality and recreating it in the form of new images is a creative act that makes up for a lack of love, a gap that the artist wants to fill with meaning. Through this act of transforming and sharing she takes part in the life of things and events in the first person, taking part in them with an action of reciprocal coexistence.What most strikes us in Frédérique’s creative activity is this process that presents the tactile nature of the material reduced to fragments, which gives us the power to recover the memory of things and the warmth of life expressed by man’s integrity.It is “idea translated into matter” which, through its physicalisation, produces an intense and cerebral anthropological sensitiveness.