The Way I Work... Mimosa Echard
In our series where we look at the things, places and people that inspire a creative’s working life, Funmi Fetto meets artist Mimosa Echard
Mimosa Echard is a French visual artist and 2022 winner of the Marcel Duchamp Prize – the most prestigious art award in France. Her work, which explores the relationship between nature and consumer items – from ceramics to video games – is described by Art News as “a dreamy world where people and plants co-exist”. Echard, on the other hand, says: “I find it impossible to describe my work, so my friend told me that I should just say that it is ‘pink’.” She sits down with Service95 Global Editorial Director Funmi Fetto to discuss gardening, her dream of freedom and how The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills inspired her work.
On Her Morning Routine… My day starts by going from my home in Gare du Nord in Paris to my studio in Nogent-sur-Marne in the eastern suburbs. There’s a train that goes there directly from my apartment. I love this moment, [it is when] I organise my day, write, read. At the moment, I am reading Kate Bush’s biography The Secret History Of Kate Bush And The Strange Art Of Pop (above) by Fred Vermorel. Once I arrive in my studio, I look at the garden. I spend a lot of time looking at every plant, speaking to them… Then I go back inside and get to work. Sometimes alone, sometimes with collaborators.
On Her Working Playlist… I listen to a lot of music, really loudly when I’m alone. I have been listening to a lot to Belgian rapper Shay, Charli XCX, Oumou Sangaré, and I am crazy about this transcendental metal New York-based band Liturgy. I also listen to NTS radio a lot.
On Being Inspired By The Small Screen… I love The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills. I once made an entire show about ‘digesting’ this kind of show.
On Her Work Uniform… I am very inspired by the colours of Dries van Noten’s older collections. Also, last year, I became obsessed with Alexander McQueen’s 1998 Golden Shower collection.
On Childhood Inspirations… I grew up in the mountains in Les Cévennes in the south of France, which is perhaps why I often work with materials and people from there. As a kid, I spent two days with other kids in a big cave – we slept and cooked there. There was a beautiful, intense, and quite weird underground lake and the light and temperature mean you lose the sense of the outside world’s lifecycle. I remember the shock of the light and scent when we finally left.
On Artists… Mike Kelley will always be an inspiration. But I also love Ana Mendieta, [Jean Siméon] Chardin, Carolee Schneemann. And a long time ago, my mother wove a wool tapestry of a bleeding swan. It is both very delicate and really mysterious.
On Prized Possessions… There are so many objects that I treasure. But rather than getting too caught up in the idea of possessing anything, I end up glueing most things inside my artwork. It’s like a positive form of loss. My dream would be to have a completely empty space – no attachment, complete freedom.
On Walking… Walking is the most important thing for me in terms of finding inspiration. It’s like going into a trance; you dissolve into the landscape, the streets… The idea of dissolution is very important in my work. I am currently working on a show – opening in September at the Heidi Gallery in Berlin – which will try to express the sensation of surveillance within a kind of DIY aesthetic, something between electricity and privacy.
On Best Career Advice… This can be summed up in the song Don’t Believe The Hype by Public Enemy and the famous quote by Bruce Lee: “Be water, my friend.”
Funmi Fetto is the Global Editorial Director of Service95 and a Contributing Editor at British Vogue
Images courtesy of the artists