A project by UNESCO-MOST – C.I.P.S.H – Mémoire de l’Avenir
Karine Zibaut lives and works between Paris and Houlgate, in Normandy. Visual artist and therapist, she also leads creativity workshop. During her time in London, she was a member of the artistic community, Kinred Studios. She has been part of associative projects, as SKIN, caring for women dealing with breast cancer. Over the last ten years, she has worked with women on the subjects of body and memories. Their next project are dealing with sacred sexuality and Myths.
Mujer, Tierra Y Libertad
“After the creation of Stabat Mater, concert screening, dealing with the difficult rise of women in art, I started to work about motherhood. First, I made MOTHER, a movie with 14 women. Then, following this red thread, I created « Mujer, Tierra y Libertad » with Claire. It created a powerful space between us where femininity is revealed. Explodes. Claire tells me my work is like a “developing bath” for women. I feel like a “relay” of their great vital energy.
These last years, a real and international movement for women’s expression is appearing. I feel more opportinities to share this work. Reactions of men and women are strong. I find it hopefull. I follow the thread…“
A self-described daydreamer, Karine utilizes a multiplicity of practices — photography, filmmaking, painting, writing and theatrical production — to turn her abstract, emotion based musings, into the tangible. Poetic in nature, many of her “photo-ink” works embrace a feel of movement, as if dance were a form of calligraphy to be captured in the mediums of photo, paint or video.
Karine aims for her work to embody “realness,” yet through a muted, barely audible or ephemera essence, and in her practice, the act of experimentation is just as critical as the revelry of a finished product.
Originally from Marseille, France, Karine grew up with the sun and sea, a feeling of connectivity to the earth, and the importance of an “ecological spirit.” Wanting to be an actress, she was captured by the desire to be a storyteller. Reading and writing were not just modes of escape, but for her created a “room with a view to watch people” and as she describes it, to be without poetry, “is to be without air.”
But as a excellent student, her journey would instead bring her to business school, a path of prestige rather than pleasure, but one that allowed her a certain level of freedom. At age 20, she moved to Paris and began a decade of successful work in luxury marketing in the beauty industry. Yet, for the health of her creativity, this traditional work, was always punctuated by endeavors in the theater, both as an actor and as a writer.
But this pull of pursuits, which would feel like “climbing up a mountain” would eventually end, and Karine would focus her energies fully on the arts, a decision that “life begins now.” As a actor, writer and director she began sharing her creativity with children through and a theatre company. Through this endeavor she developed a diverse creative community, filled with gallerists, journalists, and collectors, a group of people whose support would push her to realize her photographic works demanded public attention. Without them, Karine says, these images would have likely remained unseen at home. When her project “Body and Soul” turn into a solo exhibition in 2007, that moment change the course of her career.
This series of photographs, which Karine had taken of herself and was an exercise in “total exposure” both in body and emotion, depicting “something broken inside” and expressing “sentiment we never see,” depending on the viewer, would feel either aggressive or resonate with an empathetic palpability. “Body and Soul,” would eventually evolve past exhibition, and in x would turned into a book under the same title.
Following her initial grand welcoming onto the Paris art scene, Karine began exhibiting rapidly and continuously. In addition to photographic work, her portfolio would include experimental films, short stories and mixed media musings. Not solely about presentations of the corporal, her body of work would in many cases be about the feminine and the ability to express one’s creativity in contrast to societal prohibitions. With this interest she recreated the religious work, Stabat Mater, into a feminist narrative, a 9 month creative journey. While Karine does not think of herself as an activist, she does define herself as a feminist, and believes the need to express strongly held beliefs.
Previously an unknown artist, Karine has worked to overcome a timidity rooted in having not attended art school, making it her mission to be not only self taught, but to embrace the learning that could be found in her creative community. Speaking with an air of homage, Karine states “I’ve had a series of angels supporting my work,” allowing her to make pieces that are a “whole body construction.” As an artist, Karine believes ”after you make an object it no longer belongs to you,” but she does hope her work will not only be emotionally evocative but also entice the viewer to linger that bit longer.
Karine sincerely believes each opportunity has opened the door to the next, but has more significantly brought a new “angel” into her life to her guide her to the next creative endeavor.
Sarah Forbes, Kinred Studio’s Curator
Writing, directing and photographing…For ten years, Karine Zibaut has been working her way through the forest of creation. With filming, she has found a camera lucida enabling her to ward off the oppressing walls of emotions. Through these bubbles of light, characters come and go, embodying days full of life, incandescent fears or nights haunted by the gaps of the past.
Karine Zibaut is a woman who creates and gives birth to texts and images in a world where women are still meant to work, entertain and mother. But still too rarely to think a world where the different parts of femininity are reconciled.The power of her work sprang with the bliss of “Body and Soul” from which a first book came out. From texts to films, to happenings, a nebula is born. A universe is coming to life. A work of art, already.