Olivia Hernaïz

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Collecting is a pathology from which Olivia Hernaïz gladly suffer. Through the assemblage of materials – ideas of passersby, derelict houses, political logos, bank slogans and fables – she tries to deconstruct collective beliefs. Her practice is multiple. From painting and drawing to digital printing, human size installations, model making and sound, Hernaïz chooses a medium according to her intentions for a project.

Dialogue is at the core of Olivia Hernaïz’s work. Her projects are all excuses to start conversations with others. These discussions first aroused while painting on the streets during the escapologist project Brussels Anti-Demolition Campaign. She then continued to pursue dialogue through participatory processes. Her project Would you like to make my portrait? questioned the criteria of talent. I had no idea engaged with shared authorship. The board game, Art & and My Career, places the players in the shoes of women in the art world. And the installation Culture Morte aux Bananes questions the relation between culture and nationalism.

 

Coming back within the gallery, I used humour as a subversive tool. In the sister installations, Make Yourself Comfortable and All About You, I called into question the efficiency and legitimacy of human fictions such as politics, money and language. Drawing from the over-identification strategy, both installations and their videos exaggerate the features of the neoliberal system to reveal its dead ends.

Turning to storytelling in my work The Tales, I explored the pervasiveness of the myth of growth on which Western societies are built. As windows opened to another world, the dioramas depict the human quest for the unattainable, hindered by the impossibility of communication.

Finally, in the body of works La Eterna Juventud, the artist explored the ways in which cultural heritage, national identity and memory influence the individual.