Prune Nourry

Infinite Arrows

Infinite Arrows offers an in-depth exploration of the symbolism of the arrow, which has been an integral part of Nourry’s artistic universe for almost four years.

Exhibition view, Infinite Arrows, TEMPLON Brussels, 2022
Exhibition view, Infinite Arrows, TEMPLON Brussels, 2022

The mythological figure of the Amazons, a tribe of huntresses who, so legend tells us, cut off their breasts to make it easier to shoot with a bow, appeared in the artist’s visual work following her breast cancer in 2016. Two years later, in New York, she embarked on the sculpture of an Amazon nearly four meters high, almost entirely covered in thousands of incense sticks. Like acupuncture needles echoing the themes of ritual and healing, the objects became a recurring element in the artist’s installations, sculptures and lithographs along with various attributes of the warrior-woman, from bow to arrow to target. In January 2021, in the midst of lockdown, she exhibited a monumental work, L’Amazone Érogène, composed of 888 arrows floating delicately in the atrium of the Bon Marché Rive Gauche in Paris.

With Infinite Arrows, Nourry presents a dozen new and recent pieces that extend the ideas she began to explore during the creation of this poignant and slowly maturing body of work. The exhibition opens with two dioramas, Arc and Cible, eclectic compositions made of wooden arrows and feathers. Alongside them, four other dioramas bring the gallery walls to life, displaying a variety of geometric forms that are striking in their simplicity: circle, square, triangle and trapezium.

These works are the result of eight years of personal reflection and the artist’s key encounter with some of the finest examples of American minimalism at Dia Beacon, part of the Dia Art Foundation, in New York State.

In the next room, the visitor is confronted with Structures (Cercle), a new installation consisting of a multitude of arrows stuck directly in the wall, forming an army of phantom triangles between the different axes. On the opposite wall, Exit / Entrance, an oak target with a curved shape and an imposing nipple at its centre, is surrounded by a cloud of wooden arrows, some of them penetrating the wall while others shoot out of it. A metaphor for the frantic race of the sperm towards the ovum, the work echoes the difficult journey of conception after an illness.

The last room closes the exhibition on a different note, with two almost aerial works consisting of curved arrows made of beech wood and decorated with feathers. Infinite I (Arrows) is alive with the famous mathematical sign in a powerful ode to perennial movement and the number 8, a symbol of balance and perpetual rebirth. Target I (Arrows) is a very different piece, immediately capturing the visitor’s attention with a set of five concentric arrows that form a black and white target.

Diorama Arc, 2022


The artist

Born in 1985 in Paris, Prune Nourry lives and works in New York. She is interested in the fields of science and anthropology, particularly bioethical questions relating to gender selection and the artificial evolution of humankind. She explores these issues with an artistic approach that combines sculpture, installations, performances and video. Over the last few years, the artist has gained recognition for her long-term projects, such as the Terracotta Daughters army, inspired by the Xi’an terracotta warriors. The piece travelled the world between 2013 and 2015, from Paris to China and taking in Zurich, New York and Mexico City.

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