Claire Paugam works in layers, overlapping textures, and colours. Her supports are video, photography installation and performance. She also creates sculptures and small objects she uses as part of other works namely installations. She frequently uses her body and the bodies of other people as disruptive element or as constituent part of the landscape, with a thorough scenic component. The textures are used to unify body and nature, as a reflection over the universal, composing a kind of sensorial diaries of the landscape. Claire evokes this way the texture as a sensorial medium to remind us that we are all "cosmic dust" by composing an image with a rock and a piece of meat, like she did in Attempting the Embrace n°29 or n°25 and n°26, where we can barely distinguish between the meat and the rock.
Claire does not take life, does not isolate the Human flesh, she animates an inanimate object as if she has blown into it the breath of life. [...] In her practice we may see both the will to animate pieces and objects, and sometimes we may feel that the objects are the ones boosting the reification of the landscape, always raising questions about the matter, or what is or is not tangible to the look.
Excerpt from "Claire Paugam - Attempting the Embrace" by Barabara Valentina Umbigo art and design magazine Portugal 2017
The core of my work is to raise questions about the matter by confronting a sensitive experience with common systems of rules and representation. Shapelessness, disorder, entropy, the feeling of letting go are major themes I am exploring. I also keep questioning the relationship with the landscape as a dominant and at the same time dominated whole from which we cannot escape.
I use my intuition as a tool of investigation, each project comes with its own materiality and structure, this allows my practice to embrace a vast range of materials.
I use visual analogy as a creative process, in my perception, looking at a stone triggers a visual analogy: the texture of it immediately conjures up the image of raw flesh. For reasons I cannot explain, my eyes happen to recognize something of an ‘in-between texture’ in it. My favourite definition of analogy was formulated by Michel Foucault; in his words, it is “an unceasing tension between the two edges of an abyssal valley” which creates ”a wonderful battle of resemblances”. Transgressing the boundaries and differences we establish between objects, extrapolating appearances and textures, enables me to find their hidden coherence.