Marie-Michelle Deschamps at She Bam! / Leipzig

Marie-Michelle Deschamps / Neap Notes

June 17 – July 30, 2022

She Bam!
Spinnerei Str. 7
04179 Leipzig, Germany

Through her infinite rotation and tidal pull, the moon carries sediments from the deep ocean floor up to the shallow waters. During the low tide, the oceanic secrets are uncovered and revealed to the observant eye. Neap Notes refers to the scribbled lines in the sand are the result of the moon’s careful orchestration of the tides. Marie-Michelle Deschamps likes to imagine them as coded messages composed by our benevolent satellite. 


From citations of the Voynich Manuscript and of Robert Walser’s Microscripts in the artist’s recent work, encrypted language has become a prevalent thread throughout Marie-Michelle Deschamps’s practice. What is different here, however, is the consideration of a non-human form of communication, a hypothetical message descended from the skies to be inscribed in the sand that becomes the conceptual framework for the artist. In many ways, it is fitting that Deschamps be inspired in the movement of tides. As minerals and sediments are carried up and down the coastline, their inevitable rubbing and grinding turn them into smooth and polished surfaces – not unlike vitreous enamels.


To understand Marie-Michelle Deschamps’s practice requires an engagement that is equal part rational and enigmatic. The materials she employs are staple to most architectural structures: copper, glass, metals. They convey a deep connection to the development of humanity. In the transitional period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, humans turned to alchemy to learn to heat and forage a new metal that would be better suited to their needs. Deschamps’s tackling of her materials of choice carries this primeval connection to minerals and metals. She ascribes to fire the responsibility of the final appearance of her work. Her polished pieces are like marvelous jewels: precious and mythical. Their vibrantly hued surfaces bear hidden messages impossible to decipher that consume us with wonderment.

Deschamps is attentive to the hidden forces that affect our lives. Certainly, to the authority of themoon over the movement of the seas, the transformative power of fire and the prophecy of water. In this exhibition, she also relies on good luck charms and trinkets and on a four-leaf clover to secure her good graces. Despite appealing to external powers, however, Marie-Michelle Deschamps’s practice really stems from within as a genuine recognition for a form of knowledge often overlooked, intuition.

– Anaïs Castro, curator