Stephan Goldrajch proposes a number of colored masks and colorful watercolors that, with a hint of humor, appear to come from a fantasy world filled with dreams and animated by magic rituals that make us think the North carnivals, to African rituals and stunningly to the most extraordinary James Ensor's works.
Courtesy Sage Paris
Art has in my opinion the essential capacity to reveal what we are.
I feel like an embroiderer and a craftsman whose ambition and approach is to create links, to generate relations. I feel like the heir of arts, popular and ancestral practices which I transform, interpret again and appropriate in a contemporary way.
My work is aimed at raising awareness. The idea that what I convey is interpreted and becomes the object of a new story, stimulates me. I like the fact that what I create, can contain an infinite polysemy of significances. My approach is embodied in various techniques (crochet hook, weaving, embroidery, sewing) and is based on the necessity of links. I like working in contexts which force me to play with people who are not initiate into the art; with those who only play with the art, the relegated ones, and who accept an experience that I want mysterious.
In experiences which overturn the roles, the conventions; the beautiful, the ugly, the old, the young, the noble, the minor. I start my work mostly from deficiency, from frustrations in order to rewrite a story, to reconnect and create a brand new "somewhere else".
I make masks, embroidery, installations, drawings, legends, some objects are sometimes represented and lead to performances, meetings.
The masks I have crocheted are made for a performative use in an old people’s home. In 2012, I thus went to the old people’s home of the Ursulines, in Brussels, for a period of 6 months to develop a kind of "early evening dance" in which the residents would be involved. They were involved in different ways. They contributed to it by making costumes. They have been in some way my «mentors» by giving me their technical knowledge. I became the hands of the heads and knowledge of the elderly. The period of making costumes resulted in the dancing event in favour of which my "partners" went along with dancers wearing masks and costumes. The old people’s Home of the Ursulines so metamorphosed into gallery, into a space of artistic exploration. The residents even as the hospital staff became not witness of an exhibition but actors of a performance upsetting the roles and the statuses of each. A dialogue emerged and resulted in relations which have been maintained until an exhibition of masks in the Museum of Ixelles where all the participants of the projects were present.
The masks were created in various supports among which inflatable plastic support. They were created in Tel Aviv. Objects showed themselves in all their freedom of choreographic movement.
Another series of masks was this time created in metal. Inspired by George Didi Huberman, the idea was to represent memoirs engraved in the cranial box. Inside the created heads, I pierced with a pin the drawings which let the light shine. These represent the metaphor of the memory present in the brainpan.
The series was exhibited in the Gallery Alice Day, in Brussels, in 2007.
In 2011, “Netwerk” in Aalst invited my Méduse project. 300 knotted plastic bags by a woollen link which evaporated in a movement caused by a ventilator generating shadows on the walls of the gallery, invading light and space.
Embroidery is one of my favourite fields of investigation. I love the rigour imposed and the symbolics of another time : time and duration.
Drawing is also a major part of my work. It gives most often some background. It was shown in several exhibitions.
I am a storyteller! In 2012, 2013, I had the opportunity, within the framework of the KANAL festival, at the invitation of the Centre of Contemporary Arts “The WIELS”, to deal with the problem of the gentrification of the district of the canal of Brussels.
The ambition of the project was to create a link between both sides of the Canal, between the "high" part and "low" one. My idea was to write a legend. On the basis of the story of the inhabitants, the Legend of the Canal was thus written. The canal did not evoke any tension - but by this process – became an object of myth, that can be suitable for everyone. In association with the Atelier of the VK *, and of dressmakers of the area, patchworks were created in homage to the legend and were used as flags bearing the effigy of the symbol of the story. They were brandished at the windows of houses along the canal - proudly as a symbol of a collective history.