Apolline Morel-Lab

Apolline Morel-Lab

Who are you?
     Apolline Morel-Lab

Where are you?
     I’m in the Academe der Bildenden Kunste Wien, but I also study in Strasbourg, France

What are you researching/interested in?
     I have recently been very interested in the concept of cannon in art. Apparently there were these unspoken laws of sculpture in antiquity, around the 5th century, which said how a sculpture was supposed to be, like the proportions, materials etc. This is interesting as it doesn’t exist anymore. I read more and became more careful with the sculptures from antiquity which were around me, especially those in public space because they are still here after all this time, even though they are not like our contemporary cannon. However the thing which really interests me is this idea of the copies. Back in the time when they were made plaster sculptures from Greece and Italy were sent and spread all over Europe in order for students to have a model of what sculpture should be like.

What is your work (specific or general) trying to say?
     My first idea was to steal these ‘perfect shapes’ by taking casts of sculptures in the public space. With these shapes I would make a collage. This was also done in the Renaissance periods; they would swap body parts from different sculptures, matching the head of one sculpture with the torso of another. I don’t have many because they are so difficult to obtain. It is considered vandalism to go out on the streets and cast these sculptures. Your not really allowed to do it (although the process is not damaging to the original sculpture itself). I found this interesting as the public space is not as available as it sounds. With these different parts though, the idea is to bring these shapes from the public space into an exhibition space to decontextualise them in order to give the viewer a different look at them as you may not notice them outside so much. I will present these pieces as relics, putting them on a pedi stool but in an unstable way, about to fall like a ruin. I was thinking of bringing together these different cultures of the antiquity and contemporary art, asking what it means to mix them. I wanted to question the phenomena of obsolescence, restoration and what we conserve and why. Why some are in the archive and the temporality of things, especially now in contemporarily art where people use living things in performance for example. Yes, the temporality of art in general.


'Et Cetera Desunt'
'To Lay'

Who is your work for?
     I would like to think its for everyone, I try always to contextualise my art in the present day, you can always relate to something and go “Oh I know this!”. I thought that dealing with the public sculptures could be interesting as its in the everyday life of everyone. Mostly tourists look at these sculptures though, when you live in a city and are used to it you don’t really notice them. In Paris I’m not looking at the monuments or sculptures, but here when I was new, I was more careful about everything around me.

Can you explain a pivotal artwork of yours?
     At the beginning of the year I made a sculpture out of layers of glass. It I had 18 layers of glass which I placed against the wall and called it ‘To Lay’, I am translating but in French it is. “à longer”. The exhibition was on for one month and about two weeks in they called me to say that one sheet of glass had broken. We watched the CCTV to see who broke it but it happened in the morning when the gallery was closed, you can see in the video it actually broke by itself due to the tension. We thought it was cool, but at the same time what am I supposed to do? It was not my intention but it has its own life. It made me question when does the artist decide to be finished with the artwork? I decided to take of the sheet that was broken as it was not my first idea to show it like this. However it made me think about the longevity of my art and what the place of the artist is when they are exhibiting and when is their job done? Should a piece last forever? What is this need to keep restoring work? Maybe it’s just for our own sake as our bodies don’t last in time.

'Fusing Painting' Installation
'Totem' (2018)

Can you give one piece of advice?
     I think the most important part of your practice is to enjoy doing it. If you are not then you cant really share it with others, or its more difficult I guess. Its important to have fun with your ideas.

Which exhibition have you liked recently? (past 6 months)
     I liked the exhibition of Bruno Gironcoli. (Titled ‘Shy At Work’ at MUMOK) I think the drawings together with the installations were great. You could really get into his universe, his mind.

Whats next?
     We are doing an exhibition at school before we leave. (Titled ‘SXB FKB LHR’.) I am then going back to do my masters next year and maybe thinking of coming back to Vienna after. I’m supposed to be finished my studies by June.

Images of Apolline’s ‘Relic’ seires in the SXB FKB LHR exhibition can be seen below:

'Relic 1', 'Relic 2', 'Relic 3' (2018)
'Relic 2' (2018)
'Relic 1' (2018)

Could you recommend three artists?

Alexandre Caretti       @aleblekretti
Solenne Fabre           @solenne_fabre
Marie Boisson           @marieboisson



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