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"I deconstruct gender stereotypes to reconstruct a powerful story of femininity."
Clémence Vazard is a sound and visual artist.
She gets her inspirations from the people she gives a voice to.
After graduating with a Master in Arts and Culture Studies at the Sorbonne in Paris in 2009, the artist exhibited her work in international art festivals such as Chromatic Festival in Montreal and Passion for Freedom Festival in London and had several solo and group shows in London (M&C Saatchi), Paris (Galerie 21, FGO Barbara, Le Carreau du Temple…), Avignon (City Hall) and the US (Central Features Gallery).
In 2017, a few months before #metoo, she engaged 12 women to reclaim their intimate stories by asking them one question: "What is your first memory of being harassed?". With these authentic testimonies and powerful portraits the artist created an immersive visual and sound installation called #monpremierharcelement (#myfirstharassment).
By giving these women the rare opportunity to speak up, be listened to and believed, Clémence Vazard transformed intimate stories into political matters.
Clémence is a thought leader in art and feminism, the artist is regularly invited to give talks or even museum lectures about women artists and feminist movements.
She recently co-founded "META collective" with 13 French women artists. In a year only, the collective has already been invited to exhibit in galleries and Art Centres in Paris.
Clémence Vazard started her art practice with collage at a young age. Searching for her own identity, she indulged in a research-based practice on women representations in the media. She first
created huge art murals with wallpaper and images from women magazines. Rejecting female stereotypes that media depicted, she then elaborated a process of paper weaving to gather paradoxical
images of women together. Endorsing Simone de Beauvoir statement «on ne naît pas femme on le devient» Clémence Vazard built her identity by creating her own imagery of femininity.
At this time she drew her inspiration mainly from collage artists as Hannah Hoch and feminist artistic movements from the 1970s. Barbara Kruger' collages gathering female portraits and statement texts («Your body is a battleground», for example) were a reference and still are in her use of words in her artwork. Obviously Judy Chicago installation "The Dinner Party" is a constant reference for Clémence Vazard researches on female history, the power of the narratives and the display of their singularity.
Clémence Vazard artistic approach has asserted itself with her identity. She uses the power of the narrative in her self-affirmation process as well as her art process.
Convinced that the expression of singular stories has more impact in the destruction of stereotypes than their mere denunciation, Clémence Vazard answers political questions with intimate narratives. She draws her inspiration both from her own experience as a woman and from personal stories of the women she gives a voice to.
She designs her artworks as platforms to claim her commitments and invite all women to reclaim their stories. Her participative projects are powerful tools to express the singularity of each woman story and fight against stereotypes in the process.
From media representation to sexual harassment issues, she creates immersive sound and visual installations for the viewer to rethink History.
In 2016, Clémence Vazard launched an intimate and universal artistic project called #monpremierharcelement (#myfirstharassment), which will later find a strong echo in the #metoo
movement. "I wanted to address the subject of harassment through the memory of women and the singular stories they have to tell." Exploring what she defines as "the first gender trauma" in a
woman's life, the artist invited women of the community to participate in the art process and asked them one question: "What is your first memory of being harassed?"
Clémence Vazard used the "unlighted witness" method developed by psychologist Alice Miller to give them the rare opportunity to tell their story, be carefully listened to and believed.
The artist then used her collage technique to create both visual and sound art. She gathered their voices and stories in a sound artwork where one can feel the power of their self-told story. And for the portraits, she fragmented the photographs to represent the memory process and the different layers of one story.
This project leads to an immersive installation, which mixes photographic and sound collages, that together forms a sensory journey. The fragmented portraits are printed in large scale and positioned in such as way as to surround the viewer. The vocal testimonies are compiled to spread a clamour, hinting at selected pieces of stories.
The exhibition immerses the viewer in his/her own experience. The social, participatory, political, intimate and immersive scope of this project makes#monpremierharcelement very representative of Clémence Vazard artistic practice. #monpremierharcelement has since been exhibited in institutions in Paris, Avignon and London and has received a grant from the City of Paris.
Sois Belle et Tais toi (Be pretty and shut up) denounces the negative impact of the beauty injunction on women's rights. Here again, the artist approach is based on a personal experience
and addresses women’s rights.
The injunction to beauty is one of the many psychological and physical violence we suffer as women. For International Women's Day, the artist launched a campaign in which she staged herself, slowly removing the red lipstick she was wearing.
By freeing herself from this diktat of beauty, Clémence Vazard sends a message to women that loving ourselves is a means of reclaiming our rights.
Clémence Vazard is actually working on a new engaging and empowering art project: womanxme.
womanxme is a long term artistic project which will be officially launched during the Visual Diet exhibition at Peckham Level in June 2019. During this first step event, Clémence Vazard is presenting a video where she defines «woman» by giving several definitions of herself. On each visual, the artist gives a new definition of herself, showing that a woman is a multiplicity of identities, experiences and stories. By exploring different ways of presenting herself, the artist deconstructs gender stereotypes that lock women in oppressive boxes.
This first exhibition will be inviting all women to reclaim their stories, far from female clichés. Each of them will be able to write her own and multiple self-definition, showing how their uniqueness fights against stereotypes and proposes a powerful new story of femininity.
Art Critique, 08th March 2019
Clemence Vazard is a French artist who, in 2016, began working with women to record the story of their first experience of harassment. She brought the stories together to create an immersive, visual and sound installation called #monpremierharcelement (#myfirstharassment). Then #metoo happened. ...
CuPo, 07th March 2019
To celebrate the International Women's Day, we interviewed Clemence Vazard, an artist who is challenging stereotypes and creating new narratives for women.
This week marks the International Women’s Day, and not only we want to celebrate women through art, we also want to celebrate those women who make art ...
2018 || Large-scale drawing Couses with Sarah Navasse-Miller "Drawing as a tool" courses with Marine Pagès, Ateliers des Beaux-Arts de Paris
2008-2010 || Master's degree with a Major in "Arts and Culture" and a Minor in "Arts in Public Space", Sorbonne University, Paris
2018 || #monpremierharcelement ,City Hall, Avignon
2018 || Topographic Studies, Balades Sonores, Paris
2018 || #monpremierharcelement, FGO-Barbara, Paris (This project received a Grant from City of Paris 18th)
2017 || CUT/E, Objet Céleste, Paris
2017 || #monpremierharcelement, Centre Paris Anim La Chapelle, Paris
2016 || COCO, La Machine du Moulin Rouge, Paris
2014 || COLLAGES, Espace Demory Paris, Paris
2019 || #myfirstharassment - Make Space : Hope For Tomorrow, Euston Town, London
2019 || Hey Siri, Why don't I look like that girl on Intsagram? - Visual Diet, M&C Saatchi, London
2018 || Réflexions Quantiques - META collective (co-founded with 12 women artists), Galerie Diese22, Paris
2018 || Infiniment - META collective (co-founded with 12 women artists), FGO Barbara, Paris
2018 || Femmes illuminées - Group Show for "POP meufs" festival, Pavillon des Canaux, Paris
2016 || Tropicool- Summer Group Show by Klin d'Oeil Gallery curators, Klin d'Oeil Gallery, Paris
2016 || Charity Group Show for refugees, Gallery 21, Paris
2016 || Group Show by La Seinographe, Sergeant Paper Gallery, Paris
2016 || Group Show by Foreseen Studio curators, Bruxelles
2015 || Élévation - Chromatic Festival #6 by MassivArt art agency, Chalet du Mont Royal, Montréeal,
2015 || May Day - Collagistas Festival #2, Tabya, Thessaloniki
2015 || Klin d'Oeil - Klin d'Oeil Art and Craft fair #6, Le Carreau du Temple, Paris
2014 || Carte Blanche - Group Show by curator Nancy Zastudil, Central Features Gallery, Albuquerque
2014 || Passion For Freedom London Art Festival - Group Show by curators Agnieszka Kolek et Katka Kowalska, The Embassy Tea Gallery, London
2013 || Klin d'Oeil, Le Trabendo, Paris
2019 || Interview about #myfirstharassment exhibition in Art Critique and Cupo Magazine.
2019 || Articles about "Hey Siri, Why don't I look like that girl on Instagram?" at Visual Diet exhibition in Arts and Collections, Little Black Book, Hunger.
2018 || Interview about #monpremierharcelement exhibition in Avignon on Virgin Radio and RFM Radio
2018 || Interviews and article about #monpremierharcelement exhibition in Avignon in Midi Libre, La Provence, Le Dauphiné Libéré, Vaucluse Matin, Avignon(s) Mag.
2018 || Interviews in Cheek Magazine and Les Inrockuptibles Column in A Nous Paris, Article by Camille Diao on Radio Nova, France
2017 || Interview about #monpremierharcelement in Les Carnets de La Création on France Culture public Radio, France
2017 || Interview and photo report by Passerbuysm, New York
2017 || Interview about #monpremierharcelement on franceinfo.tv, France
2016 || Interview and photo report in Paris-Shangai-Fashion blog, Shangai
2016 || Interview in 20minutes.fr, Paris
2015 || Article and art critic in Apogée Journal #6, New York
2015 || Artwork publication in Manuel, Revue Érotique #1, Paris
2014 || Article and artshow review in Kiblind #51, Paris - Lyon - Bordeaux
2013 || Interview in Ponytail art blog, London