Léonore Camus-Govoroff is a Paris-based non-binary artist and curator who carries out multidisciplinary visual work between performances, installations, texts and curating. Since 2019, they participate in the development of the artistic collective Alien She, created by Cléo Farenc, which aims to promote the work of young artists who identify as women, transgender, queer and non-binary. Their curatorial actions take different forms such as exhibitions, short-film screenings, workshops for young artists…
They graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris with a master’s degree in Fine Arts and are currently completing their education in “Queer Art and Queer Curating” at the Node Center, Berlin.
For this edition of Curator Picks Léonore introduces four emergent non-binary artists. In their various works the notions of community and collectivity have an important place, whether they are linked to queer identities or not. In their respective practices, these four artists use their art as a political tool.
Xavier Dartayre (they/them) ~ École supérieure d’art & de design Marseille-Méditerranée (ESADMM), Marseille, France
The nights we share, our sweat, our fluids, our loves, our bodies, the heat, the days without nights and the nights without days, the after hours. More than being festive, Xavier’s work is a party in its own right as well as a riot. Their work takes place when they set off their flash in the dark and joyous nights, when they capture the unbridled bodies. The notion of collective intimacy is predominant in their plastic works.
Nights are also the place of the parade and where it is possible to multiply one’s identities, to embody another than oneself. Xavier has grasped this and in the plurality of their work they also have a documentary approach, notably with their Masks project which combines photo reportage, traces, physical and audio testimonies.
Xavier is doing their MFA at the Marseille public college for artistic studies.
Rose Mahé Cabel (they/them) ~ Haute École d’Art du Rhin (HEAR), Strasbourg, France
Rose Mahé define themselves as a visual artist but also as a performer with two identities : Mahé Cabel and the dragqueer Rose de Bordel. With both of these identities collaboration has a fundamental place in their practices. Mahé’s “working together” way of doing challenges the myth of artists working alone in their studios. The idea of community is intrinsic to their work, creating together, helping and caring for each other appears to be a way of counteracting the hetero-patriarchal system we live in.
Their interest in plants and traditional medicine goes in the same direction of countering a system of control and biopolitics to offer new possibilities for self-sufficiency. After their graduation in 2020, Mahé is now learning herbal medicine and regularly collects herbs throughout the seasons in the Alsatian forests.
Léa Brami (he/they) ~ École de Recherche Graphique (ERG), Brussels, Belgium
Léa graduated from the ERG in Brussels in 2021, where he was studying performance and installation, and from the Versailles school of architecture in 2020. Next to his artistic work he is the co-founder of the podcast Interferences about architecture and also working as a righter for the queer parisian based non-profit organisation Pia Pia asso / media.
Léa’s research is intimately related to the difficulty of archiving gestures of resistance and dissident practices. The material archive is a means for new generations to construct themselves. Léa’s work highlights that the creation of artefacts by marginal communities is a way of physically inscribing themselves in history and keeping struggles (particularly queer and feminist ones) alive in longevity. Accompanied by texts by the French philosopher Michel Foucault, Léa’s work also speaks of the habits that lock bodies in norms controlled by the states and how power dynamics puts pressure on these bodies which are also sensitive and sensory architectures.
And if bodies are architecture, Léa’s art is a new kind of urbanism which allows us to change our perception of spaces and the way we occupy them whether it’s in real life or online, in 3D worlds or other fictional places.
Brandon Gercara (they/them) ~ École supérieure d’art de La Réunion (ESA Réunion), Le Port, Reunion Island
It’s not just about art, it’s about activism. Brandon’s work focuses on a critical study of the overall dynamics of dominations in a post-colonial context. They seek to highlight the plurality of gender identities as well as the sexual diversity in the Reunion Island.
The performance has a major place in their work, it allows them, especially through the lip-sync process, to reappropriate texts in order to question them or to support their words. Brandon has grasped the power of both eloquence and humour. With PD – Pour Demain (FT – For Tomorrow) – in french PD is an homophobic insult that can be translated by faggot – Brandon Gercara became Dominique Payet the leader of the political party PD standing against hetero-cisgendered-normative patriarchy.
In addition to his plastic and activist work, Brandon has created the association requeer which aims to archive the actions of LGBTQI+ movements in Reunion Island as well as to create new spaces for reflection and dialogue around the issues of intersectionality.