Marguerite Humeau (born in Cholet, France, in 1986, lives and works in London) concentrates in her work on the origins of humanity and the communication between the worlds of the past, the present and the future. Her works are always preceded by intensive research in collaboration with historians, anthropologists, paleontologists, zoologists, linguists and engineers. She enriches her own thinking as an artist by her interdisciplinary and speculative research. And subsequently, she processes the results into sculptures and installations, which oscillate constantly between facticity and speculation.
This year, the Kunstverein in Hamburg has shown her exhibition, Ecstasies. Through an interplay of sound, sculpture and drawing, Humeau staged a speculative scenario of how humans developed. She started out from the idea that prehistoric shamans might have attained states of trance through taking psychoactive portions of animal brains, leading to a neuronal reconfiguration of the human brain, from which language, art and religion emerged. To show this, the exhibition’s sculptures and drawings take up the forms of prehistoric Venus figurines, which, according to a theory from Bette Hagen, evince a striking similarity to animal brains and can possibly be understood as “recipes” for mixing the right proportions of psychoactive substances. Some filigree drawings from the series, Ecstasies, can be obtained as editions for the Kunstverein. Humeau presents the results of her artistic research in her own, coherent but not completely decipherable system of notation, seeming simultaneously to throw up questions and contain answers. She connects the prehistoric past with the distant future and speculates about possible developments to come in human consciousness.
- Prix Marcel Duchamp, Centre Pompidou, Paris (G)
Oscillations, Museion, Bozen (S)
Ecstasies, Kunstverein in Hamburg (S)
- Birth Canal, New Museum, New York (S)
Animals & Us, Turner Contemporary, Margate (G)
- Echoes, Art Now, Tate Britain, London (S)
- FOXP2, Palais de Tokyo (S)