March 23 – April 29, 2023
Camille Soulat (b 1991) grew up in Montluçon, France. She is self-taught and uses mediums ranging from digital painting and writing, to video installation. Her practice revolves around an intimate form of narration. She concentrates on nostalgic subjects and scenes with super-natural undertones. Through the diffuse shapes and silhouettes of her digital paintings, Camille exhibits a certain fascination for the transformation of ordinary moments into events. Interested in notions such as marginality, geek culture or adolescence, she directs her practice around an interpretation and a celebration of the codes associated with both pop culture and counterculture.
Suburbcel, the title of her first solo exhibition with Ballon Rouge, is an invented term which corresponds to the contraction of the term "Suburb" and the word "Incel;" the word implies a hatred of coming from the suburbs, from the province, from housing estates - far from where everything seems to be happening. It echoes greediness and exclusion. Life happens elsewhere. “In between states where nothing happens” (2023) is a small bench; it’s an in-between state where you always wait for an upcoming change, a bus, a date, as hours pass. It’s a metaphor, a land of hope and boredom, of waiting. On the back of the bench, a lenticular print shows eyes that morph into a Skyline view. On the wall beside it is a print on aluminum titled “Subdivision, vision continues to divide” (2023). The windows of the subdivision lot shine bright when the sun goes down. If the grass is always greener on the other side, behind the glass it always seems warmer. Clothes and accessories become shiny artifacts, vindictive slogans on a bright color shirt, jeans, a New York view imprinted in jersey fabric caught in shiny plastic resin. The clothing implies a body. Our clothes are our personality, our performance.
'Lifting Hauls' is a trend on tumblr whereby people steal 50 eyeshadow palettes from a store, for example. It’s a one time picture that makes some people jealous. Big flashy palettes, MK and LV bags - things you don’t actually need. It’s about the desire to be bigger and live bigger. It’s about appearances. It's about life lived only on Tik Tok, hoping for attention and views and validation.
Soulat’s Suburbcel is the feeling of life happening elsewhere, about rurality, childhood, avatars, escapism, nepotism, and fantasy; all of this entwined with our way of socializing on and off of social media and the way we live our lives accordingly.