in Frieze London | 10 OCT 23

Noémie Goudal, ‘Inhale, Exhale’

An anthropological narrative of migration seen through a landscape that was frozen during the last ice age but is now jungly and equatorial

in Frieze London | 10 OCT 23

Noémie Goudal   

Inhale, Exhale   

2021, 8 min 16 sec  

In the 2021 work Inhale, Exhale, Noémie Goudal undertakes a sober exploration into the anthropological narratives of the last ice age, scrutinizing the plausible pathways of human migration across the then-frozen Bering Sea. The film anchors its audience into a marshland lake, characterised by the gradual emergence of large-scale backdrops from the water, each bearing vegetation imagery from the artist’s archive. This unveiling, underscored by a dramatic soundscape, hints at a potential route across the aqueous expanse. With a grounded approach, the film melds geological epochs with contemporary interpretation, offering a reflection on a landscape persistently in flux, oscillating between past and present in an endeavour to illustrate the ever-changing narrative of earth and its ancient passages. The piece stands as a restrained, yet profound commentary on time, migration, and the interconnected fabric of human history.  

About Noémie Goudal

The practice of Noémie Goudal (b.1984, Paris) involves the construction of ambitious staged, illusionistic installations within the landscape, documented using film and photography. Goudal’s interventions and performances are underpinned by rigorous research examining the intersection of ecology and anthropology, interrogating the limitations of theoretical conceptions of the natural world. The artist’s latest work unravels a dialogue with the field of paleoclimatology, analysing climate and geology from a ‘deep time‘ perspective to acquire an understanding of our planet’s trajectory. Through the construction of staged sets, and the use of models made of paper, mirrors and wood, Goudal’s oeuvre examines the present geographies of landscapes in their continuous state of flux. Recent institutional solo exhibitions include ‘ANIMA’, performance co-written with Maëlle Poésy, at Tate Modern, London (2023) and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2023); and ‘Phoenix’, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France (2022). In 2024 Goudal will present a solo show at Mostyn, Llandudno, UK. 

Noémie Goudal, Inhale, Exhale, 2021, 8 min 16 sec. Courtesy the artist and Edel Assanti, London