Marguerite Humeau’s Ecstasies series, which includes her work Venus of Courbet, proposes that, around 150,000 years ago, a group of women encountered psychoactive substances for the first time and the neurobiological changes that resulted from this experience allowed for a reconfiguration of social relations that distinguished humans from other primates. Humeau’s Venus sculptures draw from this primal myth and from ancient sculptures. Accompanying this work is a sound installation, in which we can hear an invisible group of women experiencing this primordial trance. The female voices lead us through their psychoactive journey, at times reaching the limits of their human capabilities and mutating into various animals.

Marguerite Humeau (b. 1986, Cholet, France) lives and works in London, UK. Humeau’s work stages the crossing of great distances in time and space, transitions between animal and mineral, and encounters between personal desires and natural forces. Humeau weaves factual events into speculative narratives, therefore enabling unknown, invisible, extinct forms of life to erupt in grandiose splendour. Solo exhibitions have been held at New Museum, New York (2018); Tate Britain, London (2017); Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2017); Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2017); Nottingham Contemporary (2016) and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016). Her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including the High Line, New York (2017); Château de Versailles, Paris (2017); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2017); FRAC Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse (2017); Serpentine Gallery, London (2014) and Victoria and Albert Museum, Sculpture Gallery, London (2014).

EXHIBITED WORKS

Venus of Courbet, An 80-year-old female human has ingested the brain of a swallow, 2018
Bronze, a cappella voice
Courtesy the artist and CLEARING New York/ Brussels.
Presented with the support of Institut Français and British Council.

Brain Activities, An artificial brain engineered to reenact the primal state of trance, 150.000 years ago, 2019
Computer program, nine a cappella voices
Courtesy the artist and CLEARING New York/ Brussels.
Presented with the support of Institut Français and British Council.

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