Mireille Ribière

Humour is one of the many casualties of the COVID pandemic. Gravity and earnestness (feigned or genuine) have become the stylistic hallmark of this era, and tend to have been embraced wholeheartedly by the artistic community. As a someone who lives in the UK – the country with the highest death toll in Europe – and is deemed highly vulnerable, I am all too aware of the gravity of the situation and its effects on individuals and society at large. Yet I have grown impatient with the inflated metaphors, the self-indulgent speak and the unwarranted displays of sentimentality to which we are being subjected on a daily basis. Hence the four pieces presented here, which were initially conceived as mail art. "… la meme chose" and "Greetings from the Brink" are meant as quizzical takes on headlines such “Things will never be the same” and “Quarantine, a unique opportunity for self-exploration”, while "Le Rhône” and "Bienvenue en Vendée" – two photo-collages inspired by postcard messages by French writer Georges Perec – are humorous evocations of those cherished foreign holidays in the sun threatened by travel bans.

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