Servane Varnese is a French artist living between California, India and a forest near Paris. Her practice crosses the genres of poetry, performance, installation and illustration. Surrealism, a nomadic lifestyle, her eager interest in rituals and Jodorowsky’s concept of psychomagic have shaped her working protocols as well as her magical and holistic approach to art.

Remembrement is the third chapter of the project Knowledge of Dust realised between France and India.

The project initiated in the artist’s family house located in the woods, where she recently started the Secret Art Ashram, a session-based artist residency for collective experimentation. The site-specific studio installation called Avant l’invention des cadres (Before frames), which was an artistic reconquest of the place of her childhood, is the first chapter of this itinerant project. Paying close attention to the energy of the places where she intervenes, Varnese attempted to heal the house through a series of ritualistic performances. She resurrected wooden fragments inherited from the former piano manufacturing business that her family used to run by childishly painting, playing and assembling them as installation devices, along with automatic poems and drawings.

In Varanasi, where the second part of the project took shape, she infiltrated the shop and factory of Vijay Jaiswal, her sitar guruji, by disseminating pieces of her piano installations. Tiny poems were hidden behind hanging sitars, wooden geometrical shapes were seamlessly merged and fitted into the interior elements of the small Indian music shop. For over two weeks this site-specific intervention called Good Boy would evolve at the pace of the daily life of the factory, with the presence of the workers and the family, especially the 7-year-old son, with whom Servane collaborated. Enacting this subconscious partnership of two genealogical trees through the wood of the sitars and pianos, Servane Varnese created a symbolic yet powerful link between her birthplace and Varanasi, which she considers her second home.

The artist’s intervention in Bombay will be a rendering of the final stage of this itinerant project. It will take place in Manon Gingold Colaba living space, transformed into a gallery for the occasion, where the artist will be living for the two weeks preceding  the opening, literally converting the gallery into her bedroom. Remembrement will present drawings and sculptural installations, traces of previous parts of Knowledge of Dust, as well as new works created especially for this occurrence.

SPECIAL EVENT : A discussion with the artist and the curator will take place on 20th December 2015, 7pm, at Clark House Initiative.

Address: c/o RBT Group, 8 Nathalal Parekh Marg (Wodehouse Road), Colaba, Bombay 400039, near Regal Cinema, next to Woodside Inn.



For more information, email [email protected]