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CÉLINE FELGA: ART [Paintings - Lithografies] / INFO

The work of French-born artist Céline Felga (1982) engages us in a critique of contemporary visual culture. It opposes the progressive recuperation of the image, its mobilisation within the economic sphere. Felga’s paintings in no way adhere to such logic. They do not draw on the viewer’s uncertainties to project an identity nor do they capitalise on his desires. Felga’s work is designed to firmly diverge from the onlooker: human shapes are blurry and disproportionate, at times even grotesque. But as her images then withhold any strict identification, they appeal to the viewer and incite him to find out what they ambiguously represent. The viewer is being challenged to make sense of these scenes, at once vapid and massive, hieratically encapsulated and oppressively pushed outwards from the screen.

In her earliest work, Céline Felga found inspiration in a text by Maurice Blanchot, where he outlines an analogy between image and a dead body. Image is like a cadaver, the French philosopher writes: it evokes what is already and irretrievably lost. Felga’s series Here and Nowhere - Part I (the title refers directly to the Blanchot text) embodied this idea through the image of a zombie, the dead body that mimics life. This concept was also supported by technique, using suggestive and sketchy brush strokes. Since then, Felga has adopted many different subjects to her work, less directly related to the idea of death: scenes from history, faits divers, the biography of the artist... (the series Escape and many untitled paintings). But as her recent departure into the world of 16th century vanitas paintings shows, the idea from Here and Nowhere - Part I has not really left her. The analogy between image and loss continually keeps informing her art.

Although Felga’s painting conceptually borders on the macabre, it is never gloomy. It never slips into nihilism or decadence. The colours and forms within her paintings illustrate this feature, imparting a unique resilience and vigour. This is the great power of Felga’s work: at a time when image is increasingly becoming an ever-consuming reality, set out with numbing speed and pretensions of existential depth, Felga posits firm boundaries to image. She marks image as a distant atmosphere from man, boosting the viewer's visual sense and fully returning him to real life.

Björn Scherlippens




Born in Chatenay-Malabry (France) on 6 August 1982
Lives and work in Antwerp, Belgium

The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience, Breda
Madsmanproject, Leuven
Small stuff three (meeting Bernd Lohaus), Beersel
Tumbleweed spin off, Klerkx Gallery, Milan
Logement 6 / kerk, Antwerp
A4 magazine exhibition, Gallery ‘85, Antwerp
The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience, Antwerp
Logement 5 / Flandria boat
Souvenirs/, Lode Geens & Céline Felga, Antwerp
Escape, Cité-Action, Assenede
Existentie, Residence Labo 1, Ghent

2007 QVEST magazine
2007 A4 magazine
2007 Tom Jones’ Magazine, March '07
2007 Nieuw Zuid & 23, Jaargang 6
2006 Cité-Action, catalogue, Kunstproject
2006 Existentie catalogue,
Labo 1 2 3

2005 Collection Patrimoine Institut St-Luc.
1998 Bd d’Angoulème, 1st Prize, France
1997 Unesco painting competition, 1st Prize, France

Master, ERG/ Institut St-Luc, Brussels 2006
Erasmus student, 3rd year Painting/ KASK. Antwerp 2006
CESAP degree / Higher Certificate in Fine Arts / Graphics, Toulouse 2004
Baccalaureate in Economic and Social Sciences, Toulouse 2000