Feeling blue

“Feeling blue” is an installation by artist Elodie Grethen for which she experiments with the cyanotype technique, a photographic printing process discovered in 1842, which stands out for its Prussian blue color when its components are exposed to sunlight.

With this work, Grethen questions the injunction to productivity in our artistic practices, especially amid a pandemic: she uses her body to create an imprint on the sheets and blankets of a bed. Lying down, inactive, she exposes herself to the sun, letting the light mark the contours of her silhouette on the photosensitive fabric. The bed then only shows her absence, revealing a certain melancholy. “Feeling blue” remains a paradox, based on a false premise, that of inactivity as a creative force and a means of resistance — not as a reference to the trend of deceleration (Entschleunigung), but as a demonstration of the impossibility of maintaining standards imposed by the commodification of art. “Feeling blue” then reads like an ironic reaction, which does not celebrate laziness so much as it reveals its necessary and even at times, painful presence.

© All rights reserved, Elodie Grethen, 2024