Elsa-Louise Manceaux

Welcome to my World. This page presents a selection of works realized since 2014, and a selection of artist books and publishing projects realized since 2008.
For further exchange, feel free to drop a line or two.


Curriculum Vitae I

Selected works 2014 / 2024

    Solo exhibition at gallery Pequod Co., Mexico City, 2024

    This exhibition is the response to a dizzying “now”, which calls for new definitions, concepts and structures that give meaning to our present, particularly in the face of the profound social, cultural, affective and even planetary changes that we are going through. The series of paintings in this exhibition are articulated under the idea of qualities’ times. With this concept the artist is proposing to discuss, not without humor, the changes in sensibilities over time and the qualities of our present.
    (Click on project to read the full exhibition text written by Andrea Valencia)

    Video and Painting installation, sound, dimensions variable, 32'08'', 2024

    ‘The Power of the Fragile’ places us in the artist’s studio while she draws, listens, absorbs, and interprets a podcast by France Culture from 2023, “Le Temps du débat, épisode of ‘Les termes du débat: émancipation’” [ “Time for Debate”, episode “The Terms of the debate: emancipation” ]. First developed under the umbrella of the ‘Qualities’Times’ exhibition-project, the podcast was transcribed, translated, designed, and later projected onto a painting composed in an interrelated manner. The voice of the artist intervenes under an animated form, in the middle of the 3 speakers’ conversation, thus weaving the language of painting with that of the social and emotions.

    Solo exhibition at Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City, 2023

    In Orgasms in the Background, which could also be translated as ‘Orgasms in the End’, Manceaux shows a new series of paintings that depart from the concept of background. Through them, the artist considers this notion from different perspectives: that of painting, language, History, or the histories within History.
    To achieve this, Manceaux re-uses paintings she worked on a few years ago and transforms them into new canvases where she draws motifs repeated inside prisms. These drawings reveal an intimate process of appropriation of images taken from art history, archaeology, and contemporary pop culture. Manceaux chooses these images because the depicted figures are reclined or lying down – something she sees as a constant situation throughout Human and Art History.
    Manceaux establishes a conversation with Mathias Goeritz’s emotional architecture by emphasizing the awareness of the body in space through the paintings and the sculpture in the exhibition. The sculpture suggests the shape of a divan, a symbol of psychoanalysis, and invites the viewer to project the image of oneself lying down. This awareness turns everything that surrounds the body to become part of a mental and emotional space. The titles of the artworks are plays on words referring to the history of Dance, functioning as an entrance key to point at the ambiguity between a single body, a couple, and the collective body.(Paola Santoscoy, curator)

    Solo exhibition at Cabañas Museum, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2022
    Installation of 10 Paintings

    Following an invitation from the Cabañas Museum to enter in dialogue with the work of Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco, whose major masterpiece resides in the Chapel of the Museum (also home of a vast archive of Orozco’s drawings), I developed a series of paintings which embrace the prisma of repetition through kaleidoscopes and patterns.
    Narratives were created within the compositions, by weaving transhistorical references (from the conquista to the fiber-optic cable, via Renaissance and Modernism,...) and in relation to different symbols and concepts (protests, maternity, nature, animality, ...) with the intention to establish contrasts and similarities between Orozco’s times and ours.
    To immerse further the viewers into a ‘kaleidoscopic reading experience’, the exhibition space was altered and displayed in-situ museographic decisions, on the walls and ceiling.
    The exhibition also coincides with the commemorative 100th anniversary of Muralism and inaugurated in parallel with a large exhibition of Orozco’s sketches and studies for murals entitled ‘Taking Over All the Walls, Preliminary Drafts by José Clemente Orozco’, also curated by Victor Palacios.

    Fresco paintings installation on different supports, dimensions variable, Weights variable, 2019-2020

    In ‘The Pack from the Herd’, figures born from the neologism ‘anonimals’ – surrounded by a strange plague that can’t be defined as either animal, vegetal nor mineral – propagate through the exhibition space.
    This congregation of beings suggests a resting scene , an intermediary tension (as in pre-hunting), migratory movements, a collective search for territory. The work represents an ambivalence, a moment of cohesion where both the threat and the threatened are present, being interchangeable. The title of the piece calls for a distinction between the wild and the domesticated, the first one being maybe a more inspiring form of social organization rather than the second one, destined to follow and obey.
    The project is the result of researching and experimenting with the fresco painting technique and its anachronistic character. Ultimately, this process opened a new path in my practice, towards threedimensional painting and sculpture, as in the series of frescos on loofah, and the standing sculpture in the middle of the installation.

    A selection of paintings focusing on the imaginary of nature and technology, more especially on underwater worlds, cables, transmission, waves, toxicity and seaweed.

    A painting series (2019) made after a flight tracking application, allowing to see the amount and movement of airplanes in real time. Here the land is fictitious, although the flux’s real and varies depending on the selected parts of the world. A series on scale, following the notion of contemporary plagues.

    Solo exhibition at Lodos gallery Mexico City, 2018.

    ‘Desiluminaciones’ adresses the theme of ‘information’ in painting and how could an original image or a vision appear to oneself, in a time overloaded with... information... where searching for images has become a banal and instant act. Hence the pictures explore the relations between the canvas and the screen, enlightenment, brightness and demystification, transit and passage, opening ways to situations and characters in a moment of evolution, transformation or mutation. Desiluminaciones is also a neologism, born from that matter.

    Two-persons exhibition at Ruberta, Los Angeles, 2018

    ‘Selected drawings’ proposes a dialogue between the drawing archives of artist Diego Salvador Rios and my own. The wall panels –a series called ‘totems’– shown in the exhibition constitute four compositions made of drawings that I realized between 2012 and 2018, meanwhile the drawings and recollected pieces of Salvador Rios were displayed on a platform and mounted on cables – the latter allowing both of our works to blend in together as you’d walk through the space alongside changes of perspectives.

    Solo exhibition at Diablo Rosso, Panama, 2017

    The exhibition proposed an alltogether mix of ‘pictorial moods’ in which different ‘qualities’ entered in discussion. The group was displayed on top of a wall intervention that suggested a ‘ghost exhibition’ – an anonymous curatorship of male painting masters that could accompany the presented pictures with their own dimensions.

    Installation, Painting, 2016

    Facing the problematic of exhibiting on an Island, the 170x138cm egg-tempera painting ‘Gordo y Rojo’, originally conceived for the situation, was placed against a window, on the 46th floor of the Bancomer Tower in Mexico City. The painting could be seen from far, and ideally through a telescope placed on the Island, on the 12 of November 2016.

    Two-persons exhibition at Yautepec Gallery in Mexico City, 2016.

    Curated by Brett Schultz and Francisco Cordero-Oceguera, proposing a dialogue between my work and a sculpture’ series by artist Jordi Boldó (b.1950)
    For this exhibition, I presented 11 egg-tempera paintings from the ‘Playground Series’, all 43x35,5 cm.

    Solo exhibition at Bikini Wax project-space in Mexico City, 2015

    A painting exhibition in the living quarters of Bikini Wax, an independant project space usually fit for gestures. The canvas were mounted on the bedframes of each room’s tenant (and coordinators of the art space). Consequently, the display altered their living conditions and they had to sleep in another room altogether with their mattresses on the floor during the whole time of the exhibition.

    About 42x35cm each, gouache, color pencil and pastel on paper.

    Selection of drawings thought between May and December 2015, differently made after my personal observations of news, headlines, the streets, and my twisted mind.

    Polyptic of 24 drawings, ballpoint pens BIC® on Bristol paper, 27,9 x 35,6 cm e/o, 2014

    In The BIC Journey , I have used ballpoint pens BIC® to draw from a selection of comic strips of ‘Krazy Kat’, realized between 1925 y 1931 by the author George Herriman, first author de comics whose work’s been recognized as an important influence in the visual arts, marking the works of artists of his time til today.
    In The BIC Journey, the narrative as well as the structural elements have been abstracted through an analogue technique of ‘fogging’ the original images, leaving the hand free of tracing new forms, perceived through the drawing process. Hence the graphic language establishes a possibility of reading signs of drama and traces of humor within abstract compositions, and ultimately proposes a 24h visual journey of the mind, through the standard colors of a mass-produced, industrialized tool.

    I’m sharing with you a selection of drawings and paintings made through 2014, year in which I started working with the concepts of narrative and structure, synthetic drawing and visual abstraction and the question of humor within artistic practice — all of it being directly influenced by certain references of comics and press caricatures.

    Video HD, sound, 8:04 min, 2014

    Titled after the term ‘Reality TV’, the work Reality Comics uses as a medium the system of security-cameras from an art institution (Muca Roma in Mexico City); to convert them into ‘narrative structures’, with the aim of introducing a formal fiction within them. The actions of the people present in the video gather a series of repetitive movements, like patterns, such as lines, curves, dots and circles, tracing an eventual relation with a drawing practice. Ultimately, this video proposes a time-based comic, rooted in the reality of the institution.

Artist books & publications

    Yearly publication, varying between 36 to 44 pages, 26,5 x 17,2 cm, 2014-Ongoing

    Caniche is a publishing project –so far counting with 4 editions– which originated from a research on on comics and the media’s narrative structures in relation to humor and abstraction. 25 to 30 international artists are invited for each issue, and each one responds to the use of different grids that I invent, edit and propose to each of them. The practices of the contributing artists vary from drawing, sculpture, painting, to video, installation, graphic and immaterial art. Ultimately, the launch consists in a performance involving some of the participants. Further information about the project can be found on www.revistacaniche.com

    Artist book, 21,5x14cm, inside offset and silkscreened cover, co-published with CaritaFeliz☺, edition of 200, 2012.

    Artist book in collaboration with Aline Weyel, 21x29,7cm, offset color, printed first in 2 copies, edition on demand, 2012.

    Made in the context of the exhibition ‘Life-Still’ at Teto Projects (Amsterdam, 2012)

    Photographic series and artist book, 17x26cm, color and b/w laser printed,
    edition of 30, 2009.

    Photographic observations revolving around the forms and contents of books, later applied in the context of a publication, causing a sensation of alienation effect (aka distancing effect).

    Artist book, 26x18cm, 96 pages, laser-printed in color, 2008.

    A catalogue grouping a collection of my “works” made from early age to the present; offered and displayed at family and friends. A series of articles discussing the value of artworks in a domestic context accompanies the documentation.
    I like to think about this book as an object being re-edited and re-published every X years, as I won’t stop leaving my traces around.