MAISSA TOULET MAISSA TOULET

Born in 1974, I live and work in Paris.

The boxed assemblages of American artist Joseph Cornell, which I came across as a teenager, have encouraged me to create collages of found objects and images.

I studied literature and then, after a short –& unconvincing – attempt at teaching, I started again collecting objects which I arrange in boxes with a glass pane or entirely transparent, inspired by cabinets of curiosities which have always attracted me with their jumble and organized disorder of natural objects, so incredibly strange that they easily fall over into the realm of imagination (fantastic creatures, grafted species…)

Cabinets of curiosities which exhibit stuffed animals, skeletons and organs in formaldehyde jars have an eerie dimension that I find more appealing than frightening .

I see it as a means to come to terms, on a rational as well as aesthetic plane, with the chaos of life and its derivatives (death, illnesses and various degradations, daily neurosis and anguish).

My show cases and installations which I view as miniature museums or ex voto shrines bring objects together in an opposite way from collections, since nothing is classified according to a visible logic.

Yet each object is in its own place that has been carefully thought out and cannot be changed. In between mise en scène and rebuses, I try to give to the objects I have found and transformed - sometimes completely- the strength of symbols used in tales, dreams and rituals.

My work is increasingly drifting away from cabinets of curiosities and now my boxes are more like story prompters where objects are brought together by the rules which prevail in our dreams, inviting the viewer to create his own fictions, the keys to his own enigmas.