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05 Sep 2013

Muriel Décaillet : 'Chtoniennes' at Galerie D'(A), Lausanne

Fabric, goat skin, stones, wool,
fig tree branches, fox skull
Installation dimensions variable
Photo © Galerie d'(A)

MURIEL DECAILLET - 'Chtoniennes'


MURIEL DECAILLET - 'Chtoniennes'
6 September - 11 October 2013
Opening reception:
Thursday 5 September 2013 - 6 to 9 pm
Opening time:
Mon, Tue, Fri 10-12.30 / 14:00-17,
Thu 12-19.00, Sat 14-17

Jacqueline Bettinelli
+41 21 311 35 01
+41 21 311 35 01

Galerie D'(A)
avenue du Léman 20
1005 Lausanne

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Galerie d'(A) is following the red thread that Muriel Décaillet used in her 'Anima' exhibition, presented in 2010. The complexity of the feminine universe was then at the centre of her work. The artist has continued her reflection on the deeper feminine self by grasping the legends of the deities of the underworld, known as the Chthonians, with reference to the mother goddess, Gaia.

Muriel Décaillet no longer needs to link her works with a red thread, for the link between them is strong and clear. Since giving life herself, the link with the feminine forces of the earth have begun to fascinate her, such as the 'Chthonian' whose hair was anchored in the earth and the wood of the antlers of the Eucladoceros (an ancestor of modern day deer) pointed skywards. The entrails of the earth echo an intimate representation of femininity. The Chthonic deities draw the source of their powers in the depths of the earth and are associated with cults of fecundity and fertility. To corroborate this devotion, the artist has created little Venus figures in the style of the Palaeolithic era, a period particularly dominated by matriarchy.

It is therefore not just by chance that the artist has created a self-portrait, with herself as Cernunnos, the Celtic god of fertility. The wood that makes up the stag's antlers continually regenerates. As Muriel Décaillet chooses to put it: 'stone celebrates the dead and wood, the living'. It is definitely the living that she seeks to celebrate with her presentation of these anthropomorphic and improbable deities. It is through these that she manages to dissect the many facets of the living. With 'Chimera', the 'Sphinx' and 'Griffins', we find ourselves faced with creatures that combine good and evil, sending us back to the depths of our emotional conflicts.


Visual artist born in Geneva in 1976. In 1999, Muriel Décaillet received her diploma in fashion design from La Haute Ecole d'Art et de Design (HEAD) in Geneva, as well as the Award of Distinction from the County Fund of Decoration and Visual Arts and the First Prize for the best degree in Fashion Design. Her work was chosen to represent the HEAD at an exposition in which the best end-of-the-year work from Swiss schools of applied art were shown at the Design Center of Langenthal (Berne). In 2000, she is invited to show her first installation as part of the grand opening of the Mudac in Lausanne (CH). In 2001, the artist received scholarships from both the Berthoud and Lissignol-Chevallier funds and exhibited her work at the Contemporary Art Centre in Geneva. From 2001 to 2002, she was given an artist's studio by the City of Geneva at the Grütli Art Centre. During this time, her artistic research leaned toward the abstraction of garment, reinforced by the absence of the body, ultimately revealing her interest only in the textile material and its possible uses. In 2003, Muriel Décaillet completed her artistic training by receiving her post-graduate degree at the HEAD-GE in Critical and Curatorial Studies. The work of this artist is characterised by a great diversity of processes and mediums: installation, photography, video, sound, embroidery, tapestry, dolls, use of thread, wool, textiles, nails, vacuum, plastic, found or misappropriated objects… and all in a fusion relationship with the space they occupy by incorporating its architectural, historic, social or cultural dimension. It is work that is involved in the exploration of the sensitive world that surrounds it. She takes the universe of her day-to-day life, then deforms it, misappropriates it, changing the meaning or symbolic destination to achieve an intimate representation of femininity. Through the use of textiles as an artistic medium, she weaves stories, troubling tales, draws an intimate map of the deeper self, and expresses tensions, oppositions or emotional conflicts within the complexity of femininity. Muriel Décaillet has taken part in collective and individual exhibitions in Switzerland – Villa Bernasconi, Piano Nobile, Art-en-Île, Forum de Meyrin, Krisal Galerie, Espace Kugler, Centre PasquArt, Galerie Luciano Fasciati, Musée Rath – and abroad – OField Art Centre in Beijing (China), Espace GHP in Toulouse and Galerie Sator in Paris (F). She regularly collaborates with the world of the theatre by working on set designs. The artist is represented by Galerie d'(A) in Switzerland and Galerie Sator (Paris) in France.