Sarah Miller’s productions are characterized by the fact that they are always founded on the questioning of a place, of an architectural space or of certain key elements that constitute a work of architecture, in order ultimately to better liberate herself of them. But the processes used to feed this questioning are interesting in that they are of two very distinct, and at first sight contradictory, types: there is the work of the imprint and that of the representation.
Clearly, Points de rapports de forces is part of the first category. It was a question of recording something, of producing a sort of stamp of reality leaving no room for interpretation. The benefit of the imprint, in theory, lies precisely in the fact that it is totally desubjectified.
Médium, on the contrary, reveals a different dimension of the artist’s work, this time specifically anchored in the domain of representation. Here, it is no longer a matter of carrying out a survey, but more a question of completing what looks like working drawings, by analogy to objects produced by the Compagnons du Devoir. We are indeed faced with elements which refer to reality – an extremely precise reality since they are produced on a scale of 1/1 – but they are also put to the test of translation, by interposing a material, its qualities (it has a colour, a texture etc.) and the constraints unique to her work. Moreover, the modalities of construction, assembly, reformatting or representation are perfectly visible on the pieces on show. We cannot imagine the type of relation that this system of translation has with reality, since it reproduces one by one the dimensions and sizes of the models, but nevertheless, through a game of materiological and constructive movements, it results in autonomous propositions in line with what they evoke and, because of this autonomy, they take on a sculptural standing. The use of a unique and distinct material, of stone and metal which made up the original elements, has the effect of smoothing out the evocation, eliminating the function and leaving just the forms, while contributing to this autonomy.
Despite their differences, the two installations proposed by Sarah Miller have ambiguities in common which also add to their interest. These are particularly notiecable in the chosen modalities of presentation. For Médium, the replacement base, which reminds us of issues regarding sculpture, is completely functional since it is also the workbench, the work surface, etc. Going against the desubjectifying power of the imprint, Points de rapports de forces is paradoxically shown in a dramatized form: by showing its stamped side, and because of its ghostly white colour, it is a relief which now ressembles a ruin.
Edouard Monnet and Ian Simms