Léa Mayer & Maëlle Maisonneuve (FR) - De bonnes dispositions

« Maëlle Maisonneuve and Léa Mayer have put together a collection of objects having a strange status which they have called "The collection of the Empathetics". Small in size, mostly on a hand scale, these objects made with modest materials are the result of various experiments constructed with four hands. These tiny sculptures are made mostly of natural materials collected during walks but also small toys or images found in second-hand stores and raw materials such as clay, wood or even iron. The objects in the collection are simple, knocked together, fragile and establish an intimate relationship with the viewer who is invited to consider them. The artists have abandoned their usual practices to find themselves on the common ground of sculpture which they approach with humility while assuming a posture of non-mastering. They are thus part of the filiation of Robert Filiou, artist adept at "bien fait, mal fait, pas fait"*.
Then, over these workshop experiments, the Artists-collectors cast terms usually used to qualified relationship types : the complementary, the caring, the manipulated, or personalities : the egocentrics, the dominants. Always plural, these categories articulate the collection and direct the perception of the different pieces.
Maëlle Maisonneuve and Léa Mayer drew simultaneously in an artistic vocabulary, objects becoming complementary as colors can be, and in a terminology related to psychology of personal development.
The extreme care given to this collection by the two artists contrasts sharply with the poverty of the means employed. What is usually discredited because of no use and no market value becomes the object of attention.
The categorization of these objects treated as real people reminds us of the violence of any classification, any attempt to prioritize individuals within a society. This seemingly friendly and harmless collection reveals, like children's games, the violence of the society in which we live. »
*"well done, badly done, not done"

Antoine Bricaud, La collection des Empathiques (extract)