Noémie Goudal


The French artist Noémie Goudal is one of the participants who was invited to create a new work as part of the international Balaton Eye artist-in-residency program. Rooted in the medium of photography she investigates the mechanisms of perception and the concept of the image. In works that are composed as theatrical choreographies and stage settings, often using simple means, she creates immersive experiences involving performance and installations in which she navigates between image and reality, between the man-made and the natural. As part of her process, she first dissects the image, to build it again in layers, creating ambitious staged and illusionistic interventions with the landscape, which she documents in film and photography.

Goudal’s work is based on a meticulous examination of natural science. She is especially interested in the intersection of ecology, anthropology and paleoclimatology as opposed to the limited human understanding of the true nature of our world. Since the beginning of times, humans have sought means in order to relate to the universe and control it. Her works are built from such ancient strategies as well as recent theories. In her latest works she is interested in the working of time, the way humans experience the concept of time and to so-called geological „deep time” of the earth which can only be traced by scientists. In works that are often spectacular, she exposes how both photography and the human approach to the universe seem to represent objective truths but turn out to be human constructions.

Inhale/Exhale refers to the rhythm of our existence, one of the fundamental conditions of human life on this planet. The title of the exhibition is named after a video work (2021) which is part of the exhibition and shows a representation of nature, a lush setting in the woods surrounding a small lake. The peaceful and harmonious natural setting turns out to be a staged site which evolves into a site of decay, amplified by the use of a dramatic soundscape. The exhibition additionally includes the photo installation Démentèlement III (2018), a form study at the intersection of still and moving image, representing a reverse sculpting process in which Goudal gradually and meticulously reduces a mountain landscape challenging the viewer’s gaze.

During her residency in the Balaton-Veszprém region, she examined the special features of the landscape: from ancient caves, and rock formations to the unique features of the northern part of Balaton. There she observed the extraordinary plant life and unique vegetation growing on the shallow, silicate soils of Permian sandstone at Folly Arboretum in the Badacsony hills. This resulted in a new installation of Stéréoscopes (2023) that will be presented for the first time. As in previous exhibitions, she invites the audience to engage more actively with her work by including the lenticular stereoscope technique of the nineteenth century. Based on a simple principle the lenses focus on two different images which are viewed separately by each eye and combined in the brain to create the illusion of a single, three-dimensional scene.

Noémie Goudal (b.1984) graduated from the Royal College of Art (UK) in 2010 with an MA in Photography. Goudal’s work is held in public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; David Roberts Art Foundation, London, UK; FOAM Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India and The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, UK. Noémie Goudal lives and works in Paris.

The exhibition is curated by Claudia Küssel

Graphic design by De_form Studio

All installation photos by Dávid Biró