Caroline Mesquita

Lives and works in Marseille

“For Caroline Mesquita, a sculpture is never just a sculpture. The objects that she creates, which are at once musical instruments, parts of sets and leading characters in filmed performances, merrily refuse to be confined to a definite identity. Through her films and her installations, the young sculptress creates connections between different worlds.

Caroline Mesquita has been pursuing her quest for a multi-facetted and changing identity. She has been questioning the boundaries of bodies  and materials she uses, as well as the limits of the sculptural medium itself. The ceaseless deconstruction and re-assemblage of her characters’ identities acquire substance through the fragmentation of their robotic and uncoordinated bodies.

Female dancers, musicians, mechanics, pilots, cooks… The characters of Mesquita’s sculpted fables regularly change their lives and statuses, in an ongoing attempt to escape from their fate and to shatter every possible type of social, geographical and gender determinism. For the artist, film is the perfect space for the subversion of hierarchies: here, sculptures are at the same time manipulated and manipulating. They gain the upper hand over their creator and appropriate her gestures, by caressing her, combing her hair, or cutting her up.” – Text by Elena Cardin

Caroline Mesquita won the 19th Fondation d’entreprise Ricard Prize in 2017. Selected solo exhibitions include Galeria Municipal do Porto, Porto; Kunsthalle Lissabon; Lisboa; Centre Pompidou, Paris; SALTS, Birsfelden; 221a, Vancouver; Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris; Kunsteverein Langenhagen, Langenhagen; SpazioA, Pistoia; Centre d’art du Parc Saint Léger, Pougues-les-Eaux; Le Bains-Douches, Paris; and 1m3, Lausanne. Mesquita has participated in group exhibitions at venues such as Lille 3000, Lille; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; FRAC Ile-de-France; Flax Foundation, Los Angeles; Nicelle Beauchene, New York; 15ème Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris; La Générale en Manufacture, Sèvres; Monnaie de Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Cité internationale des arts, Paris; and La Loge Brussels among others.

"I’m interested in human gatherings and in questioning why they take place. In my sculptures, I am rather more focused on the gesture performed by the characters and the fact that I can multiply that gesture than on the detail of the figure itself."
Caroline Mesquita in conversation with Martha Kirszenbaum for CURA., Summer 2016