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Karine Giboulo - 3D Comic Book

Category: Portrait 4. March 2009

With her work, says the Canadian artist Karine Giboulo, she would like to leave behind an impression of the world. That is, her impression. The common thread in the works of this artist is her viewpoint. Giboulo looks closely at those things which do not lie directly before her eyes. Her view refuses to be influenced by the power strategies which aim at holding the world in an overview so that one need not see it in precise detail and can look away so as not to get so emotionally involved. The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman identified such an overview—the social production of moral invisibility—as an intentional strategy of our modern, global world. Giboulo’s view points in a reverse direction. It concentrates on the particular, focusing in on things in detail, thereby identifying the effects of these overviews and strategies of looking away.

Giboulo’s work consists of miniature worlds: 3D views of fast food restaurant parking lots, living rooms, advertising themes, factory halls…all assembled from intricately detailed Plasticine figures. Her childlike representation of the adult world, sometimes reinforced even more by the stylistic use of fairy-tale personification, is disarming. Such art can be so endearing and frank, in the same way children are, who will tell you to your face that from which you would rather look away.

For example: the readiness in our global world to look away from things and to retain untouchability through a persistent overview remains most pronounced where one extensively seeks out the cheapest commodities, which are in turn produced elsewhere for even cheaper. In her work, "All you can eat", Giboulo follows the need to illustrate in detail the realities of the productions of things on which "Made in China" is imprinted anonymously: sneakers, TV screens, plastic flowers, mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, and other things that describe the consumer side of our western life. Who are the people who produce these things for us? Do they sometimes wonder about the people who buy all these things that they manufacture? Giboulo visited factories in the Special Economic Zone of Shenzen and made a miniature world of three-dimensional close-ups of the people she observed there after her return. Her views, which go beyond the aesthetics of repetition, bring attention to de-individualization and mass by emphasizing the individual aspects of such an existence. Looking closer in the way Giboulo does closes the gap between the consumer and the anonymous factory worker, much in the way the wall of the consumer’s living room in Giboulo’s work borders the bedrooms of Chinese migrant workers. (wh/jn)

Karine Giboulo won the second price for emerging artists at the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair in New York 2009! Congratulations from CastYourArt!

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