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Ito Meikyu / Wandering Thread

October 11, 2024 — January 5, 2025

Artist: Boris Labbé

Curator: Judith Guez

Boris Labbé is looking for several ways to express the material of the drawing: to make it "overflow, crack, crackle, proliferate, live”. Drawing has always been central to her life and has been nourished by several encounters and projects: from classical drawing to 3D animation, and from virtual reality to performance and video installation.

In this exhibition, drawing becomes volume and architecture with the central work Ito Meikyu (a word invented from a collage of two words: ito which means "thread" and, meikyu which means "labyrinth").

The immersive and interactive work invites the viewer to immerse themselves in a large animated fresco. It presents a heterogeneous collection of drawn, animated and sound scenes, which are taken from the digital material. In a way, she recreates a subjective world (inner and outer world) in the form of a labyrinth composed of fractal architectures, inhabited by plants, objects, animals, men, women, patterns and calligraphy. The spectator is invited to wander through this virtual space in a free way, letting himself be guided by the chance of his discoveries.

This virtual reality installation is inspired by key works of classical art and Japanese literature (such as The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu and Bedside Notes by Sei Shonagon), but also by various contacts and events in the artist's life and his travels in Japan.

Boris Labbé is also attached to the typical motif of traditional Japanese painting, the Fukinuki Yatai technique (translated as "roof removed") which represents the interior of a building, seen from above, without a ceiling. Through this composition, he explores the multiplicity of points of view, the interconnected narrative relationship, the almost encyclopedic panoramic composition, and the issues of composition of geometries, motifs and characters.

The exhibition proposes to follow a continuous and impalpable thread between the works of Boris Labbé. A Thread, like a labyrinthine entry into the artist's mind, which takes the viewer from drawing to virtual reality. Words become lists, drawings become collections, their spatial arrangements become construction and deconstruction, and their multiplications become movement and repetition.

"Interior and exterior, transparency and opacity, exhibitionism and voyeurism, lightness and heaviness, feminine and masculine; all these notions oppose or unite in the infinite cycle of a labyrinth with no way out."


Judith Guez
Curator of the exhibition


Rhizome, La Chute, Ito Meikyu :  Copyright Sacrebleu Productions
Boris Labbé, Rhizome, The Fall, Ito Meikyu
Copyright Sacrebleu Productions, courtesy of the artist


The artist/curator duo


Boris Labbé

Trained at the École supérieure d'art de Tarbes and then at the École de cinéma d'animation d'Angoulême, the work of Boris Labbé (1987, FR) quickly toured the world, whether in contemporary art exhibitions, international film festivals, or at audiovisual concerts.

His latest short film The Fall was selected for the Special Screening at the Critics' Week of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. In 2020 he collaborated with the choreographer Angelin Preljocaj and signed the video scenography of the show Swan Lake.

His films and video installations have earned him some fifty awards and distinctions around the world, including the Golden Nica Animation at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz and the Grand Prix at the Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo.

Between 2023 and 2024, he is developing and carrying out two landmark projects: Ito Meikyu, his first virtual reality project (produced by Sacrebleu Productions) and Glass House, a video scenography in collaboration with composer Lucas Fagin (produced by the Ensemble Cairn).


Judith Guez

Artist, researcher, curator in digital art, Judith is interested in new artistic forms between the real and the virtual around the notions of illusion, presence, and wonder.

After a transdisciplinary training between art, science and new technologies in different universities (Paris 1, Paris 8 and Paris 6), Judith obtained her PhD in 2015 in Aesthetics, Science and Technology of the Arts within the Digital Image and Virtual Reality team of the University Parie 8. She currently teaches digital art, virtual reality and art direction at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

Judith has created and exhibited several personal works mixing the real and the virtual (Kristoffer's Room, Lab'Surd, Reverie through the Ages, etc.) in many places (Ars Electronica, Gaîté Lyrique, 104, CDA Enghien Les Bains, Laval Virtual, Théâtres de Belfort, Villa Médicis, BnF, etc.).

In 2018, she created the International Art Festival Recto VRso in Laval (Fr). Each year, she curates exhibitions related to an annual theme exploring the creative frontier between the real and the virtual, and the relational aesthetics of immersive and interactive works.

The artist's universe