AO/JE: Drawing with the 3D device has a very performative aspect. Do you consider the performance of drawing or the drawing in 3D-space the artwork?
PdC: I come from the visual arts, so I’m more comfortable with the drawing as the artwork, but it’s true that the performative aspect is very strong with the device. Drawings are gestures, and it is tempting to let it go in the exploration of trace and movement. I try to find a balance between gestuality and figuration in my drawings, for instance by playing on the temporality of the lines’ appearance. A drawing that is revealed more or less quickly in the virtual space can make »feel« the presence of the designer and brings an interesting dramaturgical dimension: What does the viewer guess at this stage of the drawing? How to anticipate his reaction, his movement?
»[…] I try to pull out my drawings of virtual reality for two reasons. The first one is that I consider VR as a great creation tool but not an exhibition device.«
AO/JE: Are there artists or artworks that inspired your artistic work and your research?
PdC: In art, I think I’ve always liked immersive environments, with or without technology, with multiple nested narratives: a painting by Bosch or Bruegel, the installations of Kentridge or Fischli & Weiss, the blackboards by Tacita Dean, or more recently the drawings of Bianca Argimon or Jochen Gerner.
What influences my artistic research is related to everyday life and social interactions. Themes such as proximity and distance, crowd gathering, the need for solitude through a return to nature, the omnipresence of screens are recurrent in my drawings. I feed these reflections by reading sociological and anthropological works such as the writings of Erving Goffman, Edward T.Hall, or Tim Ingold.
AO/JE: What’s next?
PdC: My work explores the relationships between the intimate and the collective, the complexity of social relations. Drawing allows me to digest, understand, and interpret situations of interactions that concern me, whether close (my entourage) or distant (the human society?). Paradoxically, in the moment I mostly draw landscapes where the human figure is almost absent, perhaps in shyness, perhaps in the aim of working on spatial narratives. I call them »symbolic landscapes« because each element makes sense of a situation of social interaction. It’s very simple. For instance I draw a wall to symbolize an obstacle, a sea for crossing or instability, a bridge for the transition from one state/step to another, a mountain as a symbol of an aim, etc. Of course the interpretation is free: If the viewer wants to see a simple landscape, he will see a landscape. If he lingers, he will see details, evocations that can reshape his reading of the drawing.