photo Blandine Soulage
Élodie Lefebvre – Visual Artist / Filmmaker.
Born in 1974 in Toulouse, living between Toulouse and Lyons.
Élodie Lefebvre’s work revolves around the dual: life/death, appearance/disappearance, desire/refusal. She puts those various axes in tension in order to shed light on the ambiguities and power relationships which animate the human being. Her field of action involves volume, installation, drawing as well as video.
As early as 1998, the dramatised body, pushed to the extreme of its expressive capacities, has been at the heart of her installations and videos. As the focal point of her creation, it unfolds on a 1:1 scale, very close to actual incarnation. Sometimes it will be transfigurated via objects or items which represent it, as if to relinquish its form and open a dialog on its very essence. Such was the case of mechanised and motorised pieces presented in 2004 like Le Lit (The Bed), at the BBB art centre, or Les Balançoires amoureuses (Swings in Love), at Fondation Écureuil, both in Toulouse.
Since 2001, her visual art practice has expanded into collaborations with world-renowned choreographers taking the form of documentary films. The first result of such dialogs with Germaine Acogny, Nora Chipaumire, Salia Sanou and other artists, Cassa Cassa, rencontres dansées de l’Afrique et de sa diaspora deals with memory and the political implications of the danced body. It has been broadcast by TV5 Monde and other media.
In 2019 began a two-year residency offered by INSA Lyon “Scène de recherche” revolving around the figure of the feminine, for which Élodie Lefebvre has been reconnecting with clay, in an archaic movement which lays the foundation for her work to come. The modeling of the pieces is both minute and overtly rough in its way of reclaiming the vitality of the sketch.
That year also saw the start of a collaborative project offering a synthesis of her artistic and human engagements: entitled Si j’étais ton miroir, it creates video/dance artefacts from a simple question being asked to the patients of the Centre hospitalier de Givors near Lyons – Quelle est votre envie ? (In which “envie”, for “fancy” or “desire”, can also be heard as “en vie”, for “in life” or “alive”.)
Élodie Lefebvre graduated from Beaux-Arts Toulouse in 1999. She was granted a scholarship by the Institut français for a residency in Brazil in 2014. Her work has been exhibited at Musée des Abattoirs and Fondation pour l’art contemporain Espace Écureuil, Toulouse. Her films have been shown at Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, and BAM, New York, and have entered the collections of the Centre national de la danse, Pantin, Numéridanse, Lyons, and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The gallery Le confort des étranges, Toulouse, has repeatedly shown her pieces.