Dune Varela

OCT 26th - DEC 21st, 2023

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PARIS-B is pleased to announce the solo exhibition Fragmentum by Dune Varela at its PB PROJECT space from October 26th to December 23rd 2023.

“From the imitation of the real to the limitations of the real. The transition from plan to volume is no longer enough, it is now relationships to time, matter and space that come into play in Dune Varela’s work. (…)
Are we observing a sculpture, a photograph of a sculpture or a combination of the two?”

Julien Becourt

Dune Varela PB PROJECT Fragmentum Exhibition view Photo Théo Baulig Courtesy PARIS-B
Dune Varela, PB project - Fragmentum, exhibition view, PARIS-B, 2023. Photo: Théo Baulig

Dune Varela is an artist dedicated to photography in its dual dimension of testimony and alterable material. Playing with the intertwining of times and eras, she works with the image as if it were a ruin, a relic, caught in the movement of speculative archaeology and a history that is as much written as it is erased or fragmented.

Dune Varela_L'Ange_gros-plan2_71.5x38_Courtesy de l'artiste et PARIS-B
Dune Varela, L'ange, 2023, print on marble, 71,5 x 38 cm
Dune Varela, Les Genoux, 2023, print on marble, 56,5 x 43,5 cm

Moving away from traditional photographic prints on the flat paper surface, Dune Varela prints or mounts them on new materials such as ceramics, aluminum, glass, concrete, and, more recently, marble.

The experimentation aims to create a mise en abyme of the representation and image of symbolic, historical, and political landscapes; thus facilitating a dialogue between mediums and sources, memory and history, images and temporalities.

Dune Varela_Main (detail)_Impression sur marbre_Courtesy PARIS-B
Dune Varela, La Main Soulève (detail), 2023, print on marble, 24,5 x 35,5 cm

Dune Varela offers us a journey into the fictional future archaeology that she outlines year after year, relying on a very personal form of destruction-construction that symbolizes a vision of the human condition

Dune Varela, La Vierge et l'enfant, 2023, print on marble, 71,2 x 50,2 cm

« I seek to make photography into sculpture, to reappropriate the image by giving it a new body. And above all, to convey the emotion I feel when I visit an archaeological museum. By offering simple image fragments, I let the imagination of those who look at them open up, the possibility of entering into another temporality »

Dune Varela


The grains of black and white photography play with the grooves of marble. Fragments of ancient sculptures emerge, as if endowed with a new body. These are « images of places that have been photographed many times before, which carry within them a connection to mystery, symbolism, and the beyond » explains Dune Varela, who, like these buildings — often rebuilt and destroyed — intervenes in the different layers of the image.

Dune Varela, Main Croisées, 2023, print on marble, 29 x 42,5 cm
Dune Varela PB PROJECT Fragmentum Exhibition view Photo Théo Baulig Courtesy PARIS-B
Dune Varela, PB project - Fragmentum, exhibition view, PARIS-B, 2023. Photo: Théo Baulig
Dune Varela, Le Grand Visage (detail), 2023, print on marble, 52 x 43 cm
Les Genoux (detail)
Dune Varela PB PROJECT Fragmentum Exhibition view Photo Théo Baulig Courtesy PARIS-B
Dune Varela, PB project - Fragmentum, exhibition view, PARIS-B, 2023. Photo: Théo Baulig

« It is the recent event, for Dune Varela, of her visit to the Carrara quarries and the resulting marble work —a new, different kind of work in this territory that is more discreet and secretive than one might initially think— where she was able, for a time, to let the sculpted, destroyed, suffering, dematerialized, and then rematerialized bodies of Italian museums rest; to journey ‘higher’ and ‘upstream’ to the scattered blocks of marble, almost abandoned, on the Carrara mountain. (…)

Dune Varela_Carriere_impression photographique sur marbre_103x66_Courtesy de l'artiste et PARIS-B
Dune Varela, La Carrière (detail), 2023, print on marble, 103 x 66 cm
Dune Varela, Polygone, 2023, print on marble, 53,5 x 58 cm

(…) The experience, even before asking ‘what to do’, is to face the mountain’s reclining figures, right on the mountain’s wound —and to photograph them with a new concern for the material that precedes any representation; and in the almost clandestine survey, stolen from time and humans, of this new territory. »                                 

Julien Husson

Text from Press Release

Catalogue of Works


© Pierre Lemaire

Dune Varela was born in 1976 in Paris. After studying law in Paris and cinema in New York, she dedicated herself to analog photography, exploring its dual nature as a substantial and essential substrate, as well as a fragile and alterable material. Later, she expands her research to include video and cinema. She has exhibited at the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival, Paris Photo, the Approche salon, the Nicéphore Nièpce Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Liège, and the Hear Strasbourg. She lives in Montreuil and is currently a resident at Poush Aubervilliers.

More about the artist

Logo-CNAP-mention with the support of the
Centre National des Arts Plastiques


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