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Latifa Echakhch

Everything was changed again because of the dark blue veil. Could not recognize the shapes of the leaves, 2013
ink on canvas
200.5 x 150.0 x 2.5 cm
This painting is part of a series of identically sized canvases that have enigmatic titles. Here the artist exploits the qualities of ink, one of her favourite materials, which she sees as both a raw material of writing and bearing witness, and a vehicle for private and collective outbursts. For these works Echakhch chose a “phthalo” ink, which was developed in the 1930s from phthalocyanine colouring and was used extensively in printing. The deep blue made it possible to obtain levels of coloration in varying degrees of dilution.

Welcoming once again the idea of the random and the accidental, something she prizes in her approach, the artist initiated a minimalist protocol, letting time and the materials employed do their work in an urge to “lose the mastery of the gesture and thus avoid the notion of creation”. The blue ink infiltrates the white canvas from bottom to top by migrating through the absorbent fabric thanks to capillary action, giving birth to images of branching landscapes that suggest the silhouette of coral reefs.

Because this part of the process is left to chance and the absence of any human intervention, the artist in this instance is but a simple tool and cannot master the result, feeling at times – as she has confessed – a certain oddness before artworks she herself has created. The process of reappropriation takes place in a second phase, that of questioning the work of art and its expressive and evocative potential. Starting with a desire to place her creations in dialogue with one other, the artist imagines the series of inked works as a story that recounts, from title to title, the wanderings of the narrator as she loses her way in a forest, a sense of being lost that subtly echoes the same sentiment experienced by the viewer before each composition removed from its context.
Latifa Echakhch, Everything was changed again because of the dark blue veil. Could not recognize the shapes of the leaves, Tout à encore changé à cause du voile bleu foncé. Ne pouvait pas reconnaître les formes des feuilles.
, 2013