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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.

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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

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

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No. 26 March 17Th 2022

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

Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Dear Zoë (Emma Bovary collages), Friday 15th October 2021. Courtesy of the artist