top of page
Sol Absolu

31.05 - 16.09.2023
lilia ben salah, Paris

Césaré, Centre de création musicale
Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles
Culture Moves Europe - Gœthe Institute
Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d'Écologie (IMBE)
Institut français de Tunisie - Maison de France à Sfax
Tunis International

lilia ben salah gallery is pleased to present Sol Absolu a solo show by French artist Camille Pradon, from May 31 to September 16, 2023.


The elements have a very special presence in Camille Pradon's work. Traces of wind, water, minerals, combustion infuse her minimalist compositions. The artist, whose interest lies in contact areas and the exchange of memories, narratives and materials that flourish there, borrows a wide range of medium, from drawing to photography, moving image or ceramics. This approach, that could appear fragmentary, is tied around the essential thread of appearance and disappearance of language and image.


Sol Absolu brings together stages from a long journey, inviting the viewer to think about the displacement between several territories, as well as the interpenetration and superposition of temporalities and cultures. Playing with our perception and the gallery's unique boat shaped architecture, Camille Pradon offers an immersion between surface and depth, darkness and light in the continuity of explorations carried out in recent years between the Mediterranean shores. Combining past and present, the artist explores the strata of stones, various layers of ground levels and the depths of the seabed. Fragmented narratives and the way invisible and intimate maps link together discontinuous territories fascinate her as they captivated the poet Lórand Gáspár, whose presence permeates the exhibition that borrows his title.


The piece Revif (2020-21) integrates the perspective of the gallery. The shadow of the artist's hand reveals a sculpture coming from an antique freight ship that sank off the coast of Mahdia, Tunisia. The body meanwhile, omnipresent but yet invisible, appears as an impression throughout the exhibition. The movie dialogues with the photographs of Pierres de veille (2022): geometrical shadows stand out in the brightness of the day to reveal the erosion affecting the bleached soils of the city's marine cemetery attacked by the nearby sea spray. The notion of interface takes shape in this necropolis where life and death mingle as it does in the three drawings from Radiance (2023). In those drawings, the original pastel outline is covered in charcoal which is then sanded. Through this gesture, the artist associates the surfacing of the image with its disappearance. Nourished by the rich layering, surfaces are in constant transformation in Camille Pradon's work. The matter is never motionless nor silent, but breathes. The Anapnoï (2023), arborescent ceramics inspired by pneumatophore roots, float on the gallery's walls engaging with the audience's bodies, whom are themselves repositories of histories and memories. In the basement, one of the ceramics welcomes a sound piece commissioned from artist Thea Soti. The acoustic presence of an underwater music gives a sense of inwardness and intimacy that is emphasized by the drawings Charbonnières (2019-20) and the photography series Miroirs (2023). The piles of combustible powder, engrained on the fine paper with charcoal, match the photographs that study the absorption and reflection of light by waves. The game of shadows and light that Pradon affectionates is once more visible in the exhibition with the poem Loin de leur Jardin (2023), which splits on the wall. Her verses take us elsewhere and operate as a sign of unfolding ramifications. We do not really leave Sol Absolu, we enter it as if in a space of intimacy preparing us for a new journey.


Clelia Coussonnet, May 2023

Translation by Benjamin Carteret

bottom of page