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ZOÉ RUMEAU
designer and sculptor
born in 1973 in Pavillon-sous-Bois, France
works and lives in Paris

In Greek, zoe means life, in the essential biological sense, and Zoé Rumeau works very closely with organic life.

“Being an artist means not being indifferent. Not being indifferent to the substance, the earth that I walk on and that holds me up and resists me, the earth I trample, that I also shape, and that will ultimately swallow me up. Yes, that's what being an artist means.”

Zoé Rumeau is an artist like anyone else is a geologist, volcanologist, or seismologist. She's obsessed with movement, displacement, odors, exhalations of the living materials that she cuts, smoothes, trims, scoops, spreads, and crushes before reshaping. Her rapport with everything she touches is headstrong, carnal, methodic, conscientious. She sews scraps of fur, piece after piece, for hours, or days. She carves up wood with a chainsaw then burns it. She meticulously hacks dry earth into innumerable fragments. She glues slivers of slate together, one by one. She drops by the butcher's to collect cow horns (with bits of flesh still attached) and then boils and empties them. She turns her chainsaw to harnesses and grind them to tatters only to sew them back together again.

Zoé Rumeau breathes life into her materials, creates openings and passageways into her works in order to traverse them quite literally. Inside, outside, ever meandering, this is an artist deep in the thick of the material of this world – world deftly rolled between her fingers. Her work never leaves anyone indifferent, never at ease, never satiated.

Joy Sorman