Anne-Marie Schneider

France, 2001

Ink on paper 38/33 cm

C- print, lamda process
100/130 cm

Barcode, France, 2000-2001

DVD projection,
16:16 min

Courtesy of Galerie Nelson-Freeman, Paris

Anne-Marie Schneider is often inspired by social and political events as well as by intimate emotions as she sets out to create her charcoals and paintings. Most of her works depict an indrawn and confined body; a person closed in his or her home defending him- or herself against the world outside while simultaneously imprisoning and separating him- or herself from the environment and forfeiting other liberties. Surprisingly, the drawings shown in this exhibition bring to mind “Maison-Femme” by Louise Bourgeois. “The size of the walls of our glass houses prevents us from seeing them,” the artist writes in bold letters, thus giving voice to what is left outside, or excluded. “These are my inner walls,” she inscribes elsewhere. The term “skin-ego,” coined by the psychoanalyst Didier Anzieu in the 1970s, acquires here its full meaning; dealing with the same theme, the studies of Didier Houzel provide us additional keys to decipher this work that oscillates between passion, freedom and a search for defense. “Willy-nilly, the individual is subjected to eternal confrontation between the need to preserve his or her self with the aid of an envelope and the will to break away from it,” says Christine Macel, curator of the 2007 Airs de Paris exhibition. In her film “Code-Barre,” Schneider depicts the tension between the intimate space of one’s home identified with one’s mental space and the outside with its noisy urban activities. The animated drawings depict one world, the narrator’s mental world, whereas the staged sequences present the other world, without trying to forge a link between the two. A character is seen running away within a world of children’s toys, and the northern neighborhoods of Paris remind us of the violent reality. “My painting is an everyday script [...] the grotesque forms are usually located within a domestic scenery – I like to smile with gnashed teeth upon life’s injustices.”