Christine Rebet
In the Soldier’s Head

In the Soldier’s Head evokes the traumas of war through the prism of the hallucinations of a soldier. Inspired by the artist’s father, a soldier in Algeria who then suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, the video depicts the delusions flowing from a mind ravaged by violence: a vision grown from the inside out. Like a mirage amidst a blank, desert expanse, specters are conjured as the inanimate comes to life. Whirring machines sputter, gears turn and levers crank as ceaselessly firing synapses of a hyperactive psyche pour out. The helmet, like the soldier’s head itself, becomes a crucible for burning delusions fed by the violated land: no more than a vessel for wildly-flowing cerebrospinal fluid impulses. Rebet’s inks literally dance on page and screen, morphing as liquid-fueled illusions, only to wash away, as an oasis vanishes.

Taking formal cues from the optical illusions and landscapes drawn in pre-cinematic entertainment, French artist Christine Rebet seeks to unveil the way these kinds of devices are mirrored in contemporary politics and media. Her work is anchored in drawing, but extends to installation, performance and animation, through which she addresses issues of historical trauma through personal reinterpretation; a colorful, liquid style unraveling troubling apparitions.