By Silence

Ariane Toussaint

Internship: Laurence Aëgerter and Arne Hendriks.

I work with textual and visual narratives rooted in personal stories. My artistic practice is an investigation of the links between the word, image and materiality of objects aiming to render the power of fiction of rearranging one’s own narrative.


By Silence is inspired by my encounter with a sociologist whose parents lost a daughter at a very young age, even before he was born. Devastated but worthy, they raised their other children with the weight of an absent sister.
I asked myself: where was this sister? Was she present by her evanescence? How could the photographic medium represent this absence? I searched for her in natural forms, in collective imagery and in the words of the family. As if on a path, she plays hide-and-seek with sculptures, faces and bodies that evoke meditation and retreat. The fabrics of the installation catch and obstruct light to suggest the unveiling of a secret.
With photography, I represent this resistance of memory to time. I mix layers of time and types of images; archive images and my own material. There is a relationship to trauma, which has no place in the past and remains a constant present. Putting this sister back in the past, giving her a tomb and making the archaeology of her story and her death.


The Writer, The Healer

Narrating love, trauma, absence and family taboo to heal pain

I attempt to use art, fiction and storytelling as platforms to generate speech and emotions on complex and vulnerable topics such as death, trauma, mourning and family taboo. A major part of the thesis is shaped by my experience when reading and writing fictions in which healing is the main conductive narrative. I comment on the healing operated when creating artistic work. I propose fictionalising and publishing as two artistic strategies that make sense of one’s own personal story and rearrange it into a healing narrative.