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Nef. # 42. Within the Cosmic Cave. Nefertiti is Reincarnated as the
Guardian- Goddess of the Animal World. 2003.
23 x 18 x 9 cm.
Vie des Arts,
No. 190, Spring 2003.
Page 74 and 75

Eve Damie and The Reincarnation of Nefertiti

©2003 Original French Text By Hedwidge Asselin
English Translation By Alan Smith, Altexte Montréal

57 Reincarnations of Nefertiti,
Assemblage Sculptures
Maison de la Culture Mercier
Montréal (Québec)

Fall 2002

For Eve Damie, accumulating things is second nature. This has become very 
central to all her work, and it also gives it a very distinctive identity. Eve's
work has a polymorphic dimension, making it difficult to qualify her as a
painter and or as a sculptor. Rather, she is both of these.

Be they bas-reliefs or in three dimensional figures, the works she fabricates
are quite spectacular. No matter what the objects were intended for, the
artist applies her whimsical magic and appropriates them towards some
purely esthetic end.

These works also have their place within an art historical perspective. Damie's artistic lineage might be found among the Cubists, where they began removing objects from their normal functional context and placing them on a canvas, as they would any plastic element. This revolutionary element shows up again among the playful Dadaists or in a similar vein, among certain surrealists. With his bottle holder, Duchamp radicalized this process and the American Pop artists popularized it. Then came Andy Warhol's Brio boxes and Jasper Johns' draping work, not to forget Arman, the eternal collector who since 1955 has never ceased to amass all sorts of objects found in ever-day life: suitcases, clocks, coffeepots and cars. Jean-Jules Soucy, a Saguenay artist, who collects milk cartons and turns them into installation works, can be added to the list of artists who use the accumulation approach.

Eve Damie appropriates second-hand objects or other articles she often buys from boutiques. On Boulevard St-Laurent, for example, she once came across a bust* of Queen Nefertiti. She found it so interesting that she bought 75 of them, and out of these came The Fifty Seven Reincarnations of Nefertiti, a work that has a story to tell.
To develop a more elaborate story, Damie went searching through books, hoping to find out more about this Egyptian Queen. Since she found little, she took the liberty of inventing, creating and thus rediscovering who she was, or who she might have been. Each bust was glued to a variety of backgrounds of different sizes, and then various found objects were added to the composition, creating a surreal sculptural assemblage. She then painted the sculptures with brilliant, iridescent, metallic colors, evolving from her Animal Ark series, which has been working on since the early 1990s. As a colorist, she uses a powerful variety of pure, strong and intense shades, resulting in bold contrasts. The effects of her reds, greens, blues and yellows are powerful, a little like Rousseau's jungles or perhaps those found in Ethiopian Christian art, particularly that from the eighteenth century. Each of Nefertiti's reincarnations or displays represents a life cycle. As the artist says, “I create a unique environment and facemask. It is interesting to see how the facemask progresses, and to see how they can be integrated into the context of each sculpture, noting its symbolism, form, color and texture. I explore relations between human and animal spirituality, observing the human condition as evidenced through animal symbolism."
Eve Damie sees herself as a sort archeologist of the future. She knows these objects will survive after she has gone, and that they each have their own particular stories, fragmented stories remembered by those whose hands they pass through, regardless of any subsequent transformations. Her works articulate an esthetic of overproduction, images that reflect our times, and our consumer society

A reference from Eve Damie-
*Busts (there are now 4 different generations of Nefertiti busts that I am using and photographic transfers of her Image).

©2003 Original French Text
Hedwidge Asselin
Vie des Arts,
No. 190, Spring 2003.
Page 74 and 75