My world with their words...
Writing, directing and photographing...For ten years, Karine Zibaut has been working her way through the forest of creation. With filming, she has found a camera lucida enabling her to ward off the oppressing walls of emotions. Through these bubbles of light, characters come and go, embodying days full of life, incandescent fears or nights haunted by the gaps of the past.
Karine Zibaut is a woman who creates and gives birth to texts and images in a world where women are still meant to work, entertain and mother. But still too rarely to think a world where the different parts of femininity are reconciled.The power of her work sprang with the bliss of “Body and Soul” from which a first book came out. From texts to films, to happenings, a nebula is born. A universe is coming to life. A work of art, already.
By Sarah FORBES
A self-described daydreamer, Karine utilizes a multiplicity of practices --- photography, filmmaking, painting, writing and theatrical production --- to turn her abstract, emotion based musings, into the tangible. Poetic in nature, many of her “photo-ink” works embrace a feel of movement, as if dance were a form of calligraphy to be captured in the mediums of photo, paint or video.
Karine aims for her work to embody “realness,” yet through a muted, barely audible or ephemera essence, and in her practice, the act of experimentation is just as critical as the revelry of a finished product.
Originally from Marseille, France, Karine grew up with the sun and sea, a feeling of connectivity to the earth, and the importance of an “ecological spirit.” Wanting to be an actress, she was captured by the desire to be a storyteller. Reading and writing were not just modes of escape, but for her created a “room with a view to watch people” and as she describes it, to be without poetry, “is to be without air.”
But as a excellent student, her journey would instead bring her to business school, a path of prestige rather than pleasure, but one that allowed her a certain level of freedom. At age 20, she moved to Paris and began a decade of successful work in luxury marketing in the beauty industry. Yet, for the health of her creativity, this traditional work, was always punctuated by endeavors in the theater, both as an actor and as a writer.
But this pull of pursuits, which would feel like “climbing up a mountain” would eventually end, and Karine would focus her energies fully on the arts, a decision that “life begins now.” As a actor, writer and director she began sharing her creativity with children through and a theatre company. Through this endeavor she developed a diverse creative community, filled with gallerists, journalists, and collectors, a group of people whose support would push her to realize her photographic works demanded public attention. Without them, Karine says, these images would have likely remained unseen at home. When her project “Body and Soul” turn into a solo exhibition in 2007, that moment change the course of her career.
This series of photographs, which Karine had taken of herself and was an exercise in “total exposure” both in body and emotion, depicting “something broken inside” and expressing “sentiment we never see,” depending on the viewer, would feel either aggressive or resonate with an empathetic palpability. “Body and Soul,” would eventually evolve past exhibition, and in x would turned into a book under the same title.
Following her initial grand welcoming onto the Paris art scene, Karine began exhibiting rapidly and continuously. In addition to photographic work, her portfolio would include experimental films, short stories and mixed media musings. Not solely about presentations of the corporal, her body of work would in many cases be about the feminine and the ability to express one’s creativity in contrast to societal prohibitions. With this interest she recreated the religious work, Stabat Mater, into a feminist narrative, a 9 month creative journey. While Karine does not think of herself as an activist, she does define herself as a feminist, and believes the need to express strongly held beliefs.
Previously an unknown artist, Karine has worked to overcome a timidity rooted in having not attended art school, making it her mission to be not only self taught, but to embrace the learning that could be found in her creative community. Speaking with an air of homage, Karine states “I’ve had a series of angels supporting my work,” allowing her to make pieces that are a “whole body construction.” As an artist, Karine believes ”after you make an object it no longer belongs to you,” but she does hope her work will not only be emotionally evocative but also entice the viewer to linger that bit longer.
Karine sincerely believes each opportunity has opened the door to the next, but has more significantly brought a new “angel” into her life to her guide her to the next creative endeavor
Photographer of the body and intimacy, she blossomed with her work BODY AND SOUL.“I am not made of stone” is the subtitle to all these images, expressing, as the artist explains “what is so often inside us, at the bottom, like a silent message that is never delivered”. Here is the key of her work as a photographer. Always on the alert and driven by the need to ward off walls, she presents, beyond appearances, a way of being to the world. As an author and a performer she had several lives before finding her modelling clay: photography. Without giving up writing, which is vital, she grabs her camera for good. Through images, it becomes all the more easier to explore the soul and the body, to tell and understand the world. Within one image, everything gathers and takes shape. Thus she breathes. Understanding that this is the way to go if she wishes to be fulfilled.Each series is a story, a lighted thread leading us into a another world.
Her latest book, Body and Soul, is a hymn to life. This hymn is played by the body from which she captures elements to give it another life, another interpretation. Karine Zibaut transforms the reading of each picture and opens a new field of emotions. This book, foreworded by the writer Lalie Walker is a vision of the body catching our eyes and leading them in another direction.
Sophie Pageot, “La vie est belle”
Between reality and fiction, Karine Zibaut bridges the gap between her universe and ours. Imagination as well as our senses aren't fooled, at the same time troubled and won by what is seen, felt, perceived. Heard. Karine Zibaut introduces a very personal form of unity. One that rings a bell in each and every one of us and shows that body, soul, flesh and matter do form an ensemble. A universe...
Writer. Latest book: Les survivantes.
Publisher: Actes Sud
What is inborn is only oracular when voiced. There is a chronology of letting oneself go, body and soul. First the body, then the soul...She abandons her whole body, her whole soul, offering them in the picture. What matters is what she says, others will do whatever they want with the image, whatever they can, it is given anyway. An offered image. A gift.
Valérie Zibi, about Body and Soul
A photographer of the soul and the unspoken...Working with the matter, with cracks, sand and light, the artist offers us strange images, often dark and intense, reaching and searching our deepest emotions. A personal and unique universe which could already be found in one of her first main exhibition, “Body and Soul”. She hasn't stopped since then! “Donne-moi tes mains”, “Le Cri”, Karine Zibaut is a magician who gently pushes her models as well as her audience to get out of their comfort zone to go explore their soul and free it.
Author of Nos bonheurs fragiles, Publisher: Léo Scheer
Ecriture, mise en scène, photographie… Depuis dix ans, Karine Zibaut, dans la forêt des expressions, trace son chemin de création.
J’ai rencontré Karine Zibaut en 2009, à l’occasion de l’exposition de sa série « Body and Soul » à Paris : ce travail sur l’intimité, l’intériorité, la métamorphose a été un choc pour moi. Peu de photographes aujourd’hui, sur une scène dominée par la photographie conceptuelle, cultivent avec autant de maîtrise une vision aussi littéraire de la photographie. Depuis, je suis de près le travail de Karine. J’ai découvert l’auteur, la comédienne, la vidéaste. Avec la vidéo, elle a trouvé une « chambre claire » qui lui permet de repousser les murs trop pressants des émotions. A travers ces bulles de lumière, des personnages passent, incarnent des jours pleins de vie, des peurs incandescentes, des nuits peuplées des béances du passé.
Karine Zibaut est une artiste qui nourrit son travail photographique par tous les ponts. Karine expérimente, invente, ose, tout en creusant les sillons de sa création : la femme, le rêve, la nature… dans une approche vivante, joyeuse, grave et profonde. Son évolution depuis six ans s’affirme, s’enracine et chemine vers une belle reconnaissance.
La force de son travail a jailli dans la plénitude de «Body and soul» dont un premier ouvrage est né. De textes, en films, en happening, une nébuleuse est née. Un univers se créée. Déjà une œuvre.
Journaliste, critique d’art