Texts by Stephanie Katz
At the beginning there would be dance. If one had to imagine the first morning of the world, when nothing would have been elaborated yet, nor built, however, there would already be dance. There would be open space, the bodily mass of self consciousness, and the requirement of tracing a porosity between the inner of the first and the outer of the other. Acting as models, there would be the supple neckline of a snorting horse, the circular coming and going of an enchanting bird, the lateral shift of a crab... There would be the tempo of bodies, projecting their lines in the space of the world.
It is important to pinpoint decided antinomies, as many knotted articulations, that are only revealed after a first effect of ambulatory charm, baring the work of of its tensions. One of the first paradoxes of J. Jouannais's work resides in the exchange she fosters between mass and lightness. Being works made of paper, a type of lace painting, lighting the density of a wall, attracting them by opposite magnetism; suspended cutouts suggesting a spatial volume that the eye can visit; or ceramic micro organisms oscillating between texture excitement and the imaginative side of an architecture model
It is by this come back of the Baroque fold articulating facade and monad, frontality and imaginary world, that the question of decorativeness comes back in J. Jouannais' work. For the other indication imposing itself, when one approaches this work, is the determined decorative stake taken into account. Curves, modular strategies, suspended arabesques, and fresh colours place a charm that underlines its seduction. However, the 20th century, being familiar with the aesthetic of the Constructed Avant-Garde, has transmitted a downgraded approach of the decorative principle, which the works of J. Jouannais do not hesitate to confront. More often related to useless anecdote that lowers the work to the status of bourgeois entertainment, non universal and futile, decorativeness would dispossess the work of its conceptual, dynamic and subversive dimension.
Embracing the artistic landscape of the 20th and 21st centuries, as J. Jouannais attempts to, necessarily obliges to converse with the vocabulary of the Avant-Garde which has constructed its horizon. Functioning as the counter form of the Utopian scent that has enveloped the two world wars, the end of the 20thcentury witnesses the emergence of political, economic and artistic stands that resist to messianic belief in humanity's progress, working instead on building the wall of disillusion.
Evidently, the parallels between decorativeness according to Matisse, Deleuze's trans-historical Baroque, and Minimalism, are bold. It is precisely this boldness that I find important to underline, in order to render the extent of J. Jouannais's gesture, by replacing it in the field of contemporary interrogations. Indeed, under the appearance ofcasualness and modesty, it is important to take notice of this brave and innovative transplant she carries out. By restating the Minimal critique of the masterpiece, which affirms the identity of art in these procedures, J. Jouannais restages the inversion of the artwork to its pure exterior, freeing itself from any idealism.