SIGG ART FOUNDATION

Manon Wertenbroek











artworks

Manon Wertenbroek Portrait
Manon Wertenbroek, Portrait.
Installation view, La Placette, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2022
Manon Wertenbroek, CONATUS, 2023, C-prints mounted on aluminium, courtesy of the artist.
Manon Wertenbroek research table for Palimpsest of time open studio
Manon Wertenbroek, CONATUS, 2023, C-prints mounted on aluminium, courtesy of the artist.

Description

Manon Wertenbroek, born 1991 in Lausanne, lives and works in Paris and Zürich. In 2014 she obtained her Bachelor of Arts from ECAL (École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, Switzerland).

In January, AlUla Artist Residency welcomed Manon Wertenbroek, who lives and works in Paris and Zürich. Her sculptures, installations and photographs are almost always about the body, but without explicitly depicting it. Wertenbroek is interested in psychoanalysis, desire, and identity. With her work, she investigates the concept of skin as a membrane between the interior and exterior world. Her works have been presented in exhibitions at Muzeum Susch, Centre Culturel Suisse Paris, Istituto Svizzero in Rome and Milan, Coalmine Winterthur, Foam Amsterdam, Le Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneva, and Last Tango Zürich, among others. In 2017, Wertenbroek was awarded a Swiss Art Award by the Federal Office of Culture. In 2018 she was granted a year-long residency at the Swiss Institute in Rome.

Since arriving in AlUla, Manon Wertenbroek quickly grew an interest in its tafoni, cavities formed by wind corrosion in the most fragile parts of rocks and mountainsides. Observing their organic shapes, textures, and tints, she imagined the mountains as giant bodies that could be walkedthrough. With the very particular way she detects an organic, carnal, and possibly living dimension in the most varied objects, Manon Wertenbroek also walked through AlUla’s city center and examined the specific ornaments of the area to inform her own artwork.

Specialising in installation, scultpure, and photography, Manon Wertenbroek’s work explores the human condition and the physiological effects of interacting with one another and the world around us. Wertenbroek has been inspired by the contours of AlUla’s landscape and draws a comparison to those of human skin. Her work focuses on the body and skin as an artefact carrying traces of the past, physical and psychological. She has been inspired by traditional leather practices as well as the unique doorways in AlUla. Watch to hear her experience of the residency so far!

In AlUla, Manon Wertenbroek collected over 120 photographs of its metal doors which she gathered into a digital archive. As part of her interest in domestic spaces, the door symbolises the passage between private and public, suggesting a sense of inaccessibility while allowing room for projection. Her research led to the creation of this sculpture, manifesting her interest in the geometric patterns and patinas of the doors. The title refers directly to the notes and signatures written on each. « I was here », 2023, locally sourced leather tinted with natural dyes, palladium-plated brass, stainless steel piercings, 121 x 35 x 3,5 cm. The sculpture is an outcome of Wertenbroek’s research around the geometric patterns and patinas of the doors. The title refers directly to the notes and signatures written on them.

I was here, 2023, locally sourced leather tinted with natural dyes, palladium-plated brass, stainless steel piercings, 121 x 35 x 3,5 cm

Through this series of light sculptures “Conatus” made out of latex, acrylics and textile mixed with sand and pigments from the desert of AlUla, Manon Wertenbroek creates a connection between landscape and body, recalling the energies and memories of the places she visited during her AlUla Artist Residency.

Conatus, 2023, varying sizes, power outlets, night lights, glass marbles, textile, latex, acrylic, pigments, chains.
Installation view, Jardin d’Hiver #2. Poems of Change, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne, 2023
Photo: MCBA /Etienne Malapert

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