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Machine for Living - Montigny-le-Bretonneux
Interview with Sabrina Ratté

The title of your exhibition will be Undream. What are your thoughts behind that title?

Undream is the title of a video that I will be showing as part of this exhibition. It is a word that came to me intuitively, suddenly. It evoques ideas and themes that can be found in most of my works. Amoung others, it reminds me of a dream that would be dismantled, a reality that would disintegrate into digital signals, a utopia that would abruptly loose all of its meaning. It could be seen as a reflexion about fragility of meaning and the balance between believing in a reality while being aware that truth is a subjective concept.

In this exhibition, you will show two of your more architectural videos. Why do you use architectural buildings in your work?

I have a real fascination for architecture; it undeniably shapes our lives, influences the way we interact with our surroundings and has a direct and quite often unconscious impact on our moods and thoughts. I see so many ways to interpret and experience architecture; but most prominently, architecture is for me a poetic and sensual experience. Images have similar effects on me and I am interested in translating in video the strong impressions I get when I enter certain spaces, when I wonder in cities, or maybe, I am simply trying to understand the concept of immersion and how it affects the psyche. This said, architecture in my work is sometime litteral, and a lot of the time suggested by the creation of more abstract spaces.

Your work contains abstract forms which you call paintings. Can you tell us a bit more about your way of painting in video making?

Since the beginning of my practice, I felt that video was a way of painting with light. I started making images with video feedbacks and video synthesizers which are techniques that manipulate and shape electronic lights. In order to create compositions and perspectives, I had to play with color gradients, intensities, textures and layers. Since I integrated 3D into my work, this idea continues to be true; I now even draw and think in terms of geometry, shadows, light sources, while the composition aspect gets even more complex. I like to think of analog and digital techniques as different color palettes or types of paints.

You are saying you are creating parallel realities. What defines a parallel reality for you?

When I think of parallel reality, I could as well replace it with subjectivity. Although we all share a certain reality, we also have very different ways of interpretating it, experiencing it and believing in it. In some ways, I believe that we all live in parallel realities.

As Philip K. Dick puts it: Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Sabrina Ratté is a Canadian artist whose practice includes video, animation, installations, sculptures, audio-visual performances, prints and Virtual Reality. Mixing analog technologies, photography and 3D animation techniques, her work focuses on the creation of architectures, abstract compositions and surreal landscapes, straddling the fine line between the virtual and the physical realm.

In 2019 she was longlisted for the Sobey Art Award (CAN).

Previous exhibitions: Laforet Museum (Japan), Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec, Thoma Foundation (Santa Fe), Dolby (San Francisco), Young Project Gallery (Los Angeles), Whitney Museum of Art (New York), Galerie Charlot (Paris), Chronus Art Center, (Shanghai), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), HEK (Basel), Museum of the Moving Image (New York), Centre des Arts d'Enghien-les Bains (France)