Muriel Toulemonde

Curated by: Rhonda Corvese

23 October 2003 - 29 November 2003
Opening Reception 23 October 2003 8pm

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“For Muriel Toulemonde, the body is a metaphor of the tragic, and the impossible. Interpreted as an allegorical tragedy, Convalescenceand Fabeltier reference primordial relations and philosophical enquiries.” Rhonda Corvese – excerpt from brochure essay

A white horse and a black horse — a visual opposition that’s subtext is one of good verses bad and pure verses evil. For her exhibition at Mercer Union, French artist Muriel Toulemonde sets up this opposition in two videos “Convalescence” and “Fabeltier”. Toulemeonde documents the trails of a white horse and a black horse as they undergo tests of endurance. It is as if they challenge each other, running in a rivalry that is more a test of the self than of the competitor.

Brochure Text by Rhonda Corvese

Hypnotic images subtly alluding to a transformation of perception. Negotiating a continuum of consciousness, dependent on corporeal and temporal perspectives and without distinguishing between human and animal substantiality. Investigating the structures of continuity, addressing direct relationships between movement and the effects of time on the body. Movement as a configuration of interdependencies, a measure of being, anticipating and reflecting an impermanence. Representation and existence embodied.

Muriel Toulemonde engages in a central structure of materiality, interpreting the foundations of the temporal while simultaneously reflecting on the physical and the conscious body. This material core is represented in a simplicity of visual imagery that evokes profundity. For Toulemonde, the body is a metaphor of the tragic, and the impossible. Interpreted as an allegorical tragedy, Convalescence and Fabeltier reference primordial relations and philosophical enquiries. The tragedy of a confinement due to a grievous transgression, enduring trials that enable the manifestation of abstract meaning. Mute suffering.


Black Horse. Its trial results in the definition of physical power, freedom and volition. Born unbridled by time and defiant of will. The misfortune of deviating from course and losing track of time, causing injury. A tribulation revealing an insurmountable vulnerability, necessitating rehabilitation by severe trial ˜ an oppressive convalescence. Confined to taking the waters in sullen misery, laboring under an onerous weight. Beast of Burden. Its subservience tethered by interminable captivity. Resigned to embody the propulsion of time in perpetual movement. Chastened yet invincible, enforced subjectivity with the body as the centre of experience. Weary of body and tormented by time, body and mind are indivisible. Imprisoned as the embodiment of consciousness, in restitution for the loss of freedom and in retribution, the alternative is censured. Recognition that although freedom is absolute, power is limited; although there is no situation in which we do not have a choice, there is no situation which does not limit our power. Stalled in an incessant loop, bound to tread upon temporality, aware of the present as it runs ahead into the future and reaches back into the past. Time continued.


White Horse. Its trial results in the definition of knowledge, humility and chance. A renascence that sees beginning, middle and end. The adversity of perceiving transcendence in the folly of exalted pride. As penance, it is condemned to eternal containment. Immured in a luminous cell in self reflection. Awash in a baptismal font, solemnly toiling as if making atonement for sins. Limbo. Suffering the fate of a predetermined, and therefore inevitable course. The consequence of a spirited attempt to usurp the chain of being. Yet through the chastised body, the soul is redeemed. Revelation. Mind and body are distinct, a duality. In the end forced to abide by a constructed hierarchy of a universe structured on the order of god, man and creatures. Bound to a fixed position, in a space where movement is stationary. Time contained.