Muriel Demangeat, the poetic equation
Prescience, science and post-science
Muriel Demangeat is a “research” artist and scientist whose artistic practice strives to bring together two major cognitive approaches: science and intuition. Her scientific approach is intrinsically linked to her work as an international research engineer, combining particle physics and computer science. Her specialised viewpoint allows her to call upon notions linked to the theory of relativity and the photoelectric effect (Einstein), as well as to quantum mechanics (from Schrödinger to Feynman), to finally reach an opening including the synthesis of these two approaches, proposed by Jean-Emile Charon. Intuition, for its part, leads her along the paths of philosophy, spirituality and meditation, in particular inspired by Helena Blavatsky, a specialist in oriental thought who explores the “Akashic memory”, The convergence between these two approaches can be seen in other thinkers such as Ervin Laszlo, for whom the “Theory of Everything” is an attempt to link these two modes of apprehending the world; or in a figure like Etienne Klein, who, through his qualitative popularization of the sciences, has been working for many years to build bridges between art, science and philosophy. But most important of all, of course, is the inexhaustible source of creativity she draws from this fertile antagonism to her artistic work.. Indeed, she has always sought and found singular multidisciplinary forms that express, experimentally or poetically, the way in which science (and in particular “quantum entanglement”), like “prescience”, reveals our universal memory.
A theory of colors?
All this might seem abstruse if our artist hadn’t made it her main mission to open the doors to a world usually reserved for the “hard sciences”, allowing us to “visualize” the beauty of these mathematical, physical and chemical concepts. That’s why she’s developing her “Quantum Alphabet of Colors”, the common thread running through her practice, in a work in progress. This chromatic “primer” offers us a reading grid, coded, then decoded, readable for everyone, between the different scientific realities of a pigment: crystalline structure revealed by X-rays, X-ray diffraction rings resulting from experimentation, organic structure, wavelength etc… But also their more intuitive equivalents, namely the resulting Hertzian frequency-sound (and which generates music linked to the work it lets us hear via a bar code) or the chromatic correspondence with the different meditation chakras. From this artistic and scientific “portal”, Muriel Demangeat offers a multitude of pieces resulting from this approach, from painted panels using some of these elements, to immersive installations (in the spirit of Hugo Verlinde’s work) inviting the viewer to witness, experience and participate in the metamorphosis of the different possible states of a color. Following in the footsteps of Chevreul, Itten and Kandinsky, our artist’s vision of color harmony is based on resolutely contemporary approaches. Through this alphabet, she is naturally very sensitive to the questions raised by Joseph Kosuth in his interrogations of conceptual and semantic equivalence. But she does so via its own analytical grids, with references to very different levels of perception and representation.
A synthesis of diversity and convergence
If there’s one lesson Muriel Demangeat draws from her three approaches to reality: science, spirituality and art, it’s the diversity of points of view. So, as the old philosophical debate would have it, there is no single reality, but on the contrary, plural realities. With these powerful vectors for reflection, she sets out to present different series that attest to the need for everyone to understand the relativity of reality, and thus, on an ethical level, the freedom of point of view for others. But here, too, she proposes another ultimate and paradoxical conclusion, a dialectic in the form of a “pas de deux”, following her affirmation of difference: her conviction leads her to conceive of a very close interconnection between beings. The phenomenon of “quantum entanglement”, referring back to the earliest forms of information circulation, allows us to think, in the same way as spiritual philosophy, that interdependence is a structuring factor essential to our understanding of the world. And it is this dual complementary approach – diversity and convergence – that permeates her entire artistic corpus:
- The series “diffraction” , or the X Alphabet of colors, creates a chromatic model perceived through filters far removed from each other:
- The series “refraction”, largely inspired by Op Art and Bridget Riley in particular, shows how a line can be simultaneously straight or broken into several pieces, depending on the point of view.
- The series “reflection” uses the mirror effect present in both physical and mental reality to show the multiple distortions possible in the perception of an object or fact.
- The series “application” is a process of analysis, dematerialization and re-materialization, applied to iconic works of modern and contemporary art (Munch, Van Gogh, Mondrian…), reactivating them in a particularly original way.
- The series “mentalisation” enables her to compose pieces directly from the symbols of the quantum alphabet of colors, then retranscribed using pigments.
- As for the series “investigation” , it offers a resolutely committed universe, highlighting human interconnections and their dysfunctions, particularly totalitarian ones. The materialization takes the form of QR codes printed on the skin, which can be scanned to reveal original sound creations: texts and sounds, which are an important part of the artist’s work.
Thinking and feeling the light of the world
The whole of this artistic work therefore unfolds in a wide variety of ways, borrowing from several media, from line and raw digital data to sound, NFT, installation and painting. From her early pictorial practice, she obviously retains the pigment and the sense of drawing. But what interests her formally is above all the process of divergent as well as convergent equivalences, made possible by a multifocal analysis of reality. This 360° view of her objects of study leaves plenty of room for the multitude of possible mutations, both in terms of visual and aural perception, and in the indeterminacy of the very materials of art that constitute her source of reflection. Through her dual position as scientist and artist, Muriel Demangeat invites us to reconnect with a more complete state of our intelligence: intellectual as well as intuitive; multiplicity of the same reality; visualization of ourselves and others in their difference as well as in their interdependence; acceptance of others; convergence in diversity. She is like that “photon of light” which, slipping into all the crevices of our perception because it’s the very essence of what exists, reveals the beauty of the world’s complexity.