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Matheline Marmy | Research Trip

South Africa | Visual Arts

February 2022 — Visual Arts

Matheline Marmy

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Geneva-based artist Matheline Marmy will spend two weeks in Cape Town, South Africa in February 2022 focusing on mineral and geological aggregations specific to the region, observable examples of biomineralization and fossilization processes. The research trip unfolds in the context of an existing artistic dialogue and tandem exchange with South African artist Antonia Brown, and will ultimately be a working period towards the production of a collaborative exhibition planned to take place later in the year.

The two artists’ collaboration began in 2020 when they co-wrote a text at the invitation of HIT space in Geneva. In it, they explore points of intersection in their practice, and conceived the text as a cornerstone to elaborate further collaboration towards an exhibition.

Matheline situates her work in sculpture and installation, and the formal considerations animating it are rooted in environmental inquiries. She explains her practice: “Through the poetics of the materials I am dealing with in a regular studio practice (metals, water, biological materials) I work towards their formations/deformations into sculptural proposals. I inform myself through this practice, in juxtaposition with theories of new materialism and vitalism. I propose my method as a sculptural reconsideration of everyday material transformations based on empiricism and serendipity. Lately I am working with Cyanobacteria as both a material and research topic. I am fascinated by the role of these micro-algae in the creation of today’s atmosphere: they provoked events which shaped our present geology. Thus, I am researching the conceptual links between the mineral and organic realms, seemingly afar.”

While in South Africa, Matheline plans to visit relevant local fossil deposit sites and reach out to academic institutions working in the field of biomineralization processes (transformation of a biological matter into a mineral).


Matheline Marmy (*1993 in Geneva) began her studies at ECAL/Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne and HFBK (Hamburg) in photography and  received her master’s degree at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam in Fine Arts (2019). Trained as a photographer, she creates experimental sculptures, installations and images. She works with manipulable and reactive materials such as iron, steel, copper, acid, light-sensitive emulsions, bacteria, and water.

Recent exhibitions were held at the Centre d’Art Contemporain (Geneva), Unanimous Consent (Zürich), Rib (Rotterdam), Langmatt Museum (Baden) and Kunsthaus Langenthal for Kiefer Hablitzel Preis 2020. Since 2017 she co-edits the artist multiple Exhibitions on Paper, and in 2018-19 she initiated and programmed the Rotterdam-based exhibition space The Cabinet. She works in Geneva and sometimes in Rotterdam.