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  • Laina Hadengue, born in 1962 "I call this series of paintings 'My unusual portraits'. Unusual because they plunge us in an improbable and enigmatic décor between surrealism and hyperrealism in which space and time are not defined. Time flows like sand in an hourglass, passing vainly and causing conflicts with intimate things through events such as illness, death, the loss of a loved one, territorial or religious wars, planetary issues, climate change and so on. The themes addressed are: The virtual time, the actual time and the time of the cosmos. The timelessness of what is felt by the spirit, whether this be dark, joyful or contemplative. The present moment and what we make of it. A question about our choices that govern our lives. In some of the works, the depth of the field, perspective in hyperrealism and vanishing points give an idea of headlong movement, measure, repetition and depth—the chequerboard patterns in Terre promise and in L’air du temps. Finiteness and optical illusion. An evocation of passing time. Being there, existing for an allotted time, as if suspended in a given unit of space-time and floating on water: 'Après moi le déluge'. Man recorded in time, memory and oblivion. The setting off of certain successive phases of life through inwardness—deafness that is almost dumb in men, women and children. Depicting liberty of expression and what it becomes in the long term—I bare my soul to defend it with practically no tricks. 'La première de nous deux qui rira'. A question concerning the evolution of cultures, their differences, their conflicts and, for some, regression in time. The question of the veil in Europe. Past, present and future, symbols mingled on the same canvas: megalith, plasma screen and a rocket in 'Un espace-temps de cochon'. Underlying symbolic work in the 'Unusual portraits' series that questions existence and its impermanence and fragility. The unconscious coming towards the consciousness of the person looking at the work. Shaking up and questioning the viewer's spirit and private world in a form of universality that might arouse the curiosity of all of us with regard to the question of the meaning of life and death. The fragile and ephemeral existence of man in the world, who ceaselessly wonders about its finiteness."
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