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Promenade blanche / Weisse Reise
Sylvie Zavatta

Known for her subtle aerial interventions which, playing with transparency and light, enter into a dialogue with architecture, Susanna Fritscher brings a series of new works to the Frac Franche-Comté, some created especially for this occasion. One of these, Promenade Blanche / Weisse Reise, is also the title of the exhibition.

Promenade Blanche / Weisse Reise was created for the new Frac building, specifically for the lower hall whose atypical spaces lend themselves to the creation of specific installations. This ambitious work is both spectacular and spectral. It presents itself like a peregrination of fluid films, oscillating between the floor and the ceiling. Our journey to the heart of the work is filtered by the light, which densifies or dissipates. We experience the sensation of being wrapped in a fog of fluctuating density. There the air becomes visible, palpable, and even audible. It is our body that, by passing here, makes the material move and, via a mere touch, provokes a murmur, that of the muffled echo of a storm raging far away.

In another room, the walls and the floor also seem to have lost their density while our own movements are constricted: our progression is in fact being interrupted by a strange sensation of interference as we stand in front of a kind of suspended sfumato. The visual barricade that is entitled Capture/ The Eyes ultimately reveals itself to be a fragile installation made up of a succession of vertical surfaces, which themselves are constructed from an infinite number of very delicate filaments, extended in the space.

Tapis d’Eau, a work composed of a glass lens with a diameter of 2 metres, invites us into a similar state of disorientation. Slightly concave, sheathed in water, the work creates the impression that the liquid element is literally “floating” above the floor.

In this pale universe, composed of declinations of white and transparency, colour prevails, yet takes on singular forms: Stoss looks like a stack of coloured paper, placed on the floor, some attached to the adjacent wall. Here colour becomes volume before unfurling in a more classical manner as over a picture rail. This piece sets off a process of unveiling, beginning with white and ending in the intensity of brilliant red.

We also hear several other sound pieces by the artist, which she designates Peintures Vocales. These are the texts commissioned by Susanna Fritscher from the writer Charles Pennequin, now being sung by Helia Samadzadeh. While the sculptural works of Susanna Fritscher bring interference to our vision, her sound pieces of red, gold and white incite an analogue destabilisation. A sensuous voice emerges. First a whisper, then an interwoven and crystalline chant alternating agglutinated syllables and silences, vague and strident, all resting on syncopated or fluid rhythms. In une autre pièce: blanc, the voice begins with an almost inaudible movement of the mouth … changing to a breath. Susanna Fritscher wants not only to hear this breath, but also, to see it, directing us even into the cast of the crystal (Souffle)

Conversely, this vanishing is not what is at stake here – even if the whiteness and the evanescence dominating these installation may well evoke this – it is in fact an apparition, an epiphany. Just as silence is necessary to perceive sounds that are normally inaudible, Susanna Fritscher removes our physical bearings in such a way that the colour emerges on the blanched surface of objects, and is thus audible. She allows us to see, hear, touch these apparitions in a floating environment (since its contours have been concealed) immersing us in a world now eternally undefined by these infinitely subtle invitations; this is the challenge proposed by Susanna Fritscher.