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Headline Treatment11

Text by Christabel Stewart

Dear Marc Camille,

I had never read Madame Bovary. It took a few weeks for a decent copy to come my way. The edition I am now reading is from 1959. Reading it has been an exploration of your interests. I thought I already understood you, your “circle”, your aesthetic. I thought I knew how to stand up to the people who find what you do a little too “decorative”, as if they could reduce the value of what you do. I remain intoxicated – not by nostalgia but by an artist, a maker, a visualiser who can make a beer mat, an Oyster card, a scarf, and an exhibition, never failing to offer a critique of how we live within hierarchy. To create an Oyster card holder that is as desirable as the room you live in – that describes a value to me. It’s an act of rebellion to take pleasure in the apparent beauty and detail of everyday decoration and design.

20230216 WIELS0921 1
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Installation view, Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Nuit américaine, WIELS, Brussels, 2023. © We Document Art

7 Mark Blower 221031 Marc Camille Chaimowicz Cabinet Galley 0362
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Your exhibition at WIELS in Brussels, curated by Zoë Gray, Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Nuit américaine, had a very clear three-part structure: 1972; Hayes; and the collages. Though I enjoyed it all, I suppose it was the Hayes room, your sitting room, created, preserved and reanimated, that was the most truly generous, brilliantly necessary and totally beautiful part. I enjoyed hearing the music from 1972 (my birth year), while examining the middle room. I realised I had acquired too many of your publications. They expressed text and image, decoration, aesthetic, boundaries and connections, that I cannot possibly match in words, but I was thrilled to see how you saw Emma Bovary devour magazines. I just ask of anyone who sees a connection with this work, to investigate it a little. It has never let me down.

The book is great, by the way. 

Your admirer,

Christabel x

20230216 WIELS0863
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No. 26 March 17Th 2022
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Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s exhibition at WIELS featured a collection of 40 collages inspired by Madame Bovary, the fictional antagonist of Gustave Flaubert’s 1856 novel of the same name. Chaimowicz’s experience uncannily cohered with Emma Bovary’s – whose time was highly socially restrictive – when he was confined to his flat by the pandemic; over a two-year period he created these collages and sent them to Zoë Gray in the form of letters.

No. 18 Friday 15Th October 2021
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Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Dear Zoë (Emma Bovary collages), Friday 15th October 2021. Courtesy of the artist