Florine Démosthène: Between Possibility and Actuality

2 November - 21 December 2019 Chicago

Mariane Ibrahim presents Florine Démosthène’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, “Between Possibility and Actuality.” The show celebrates the second presentation at the gallery’s Chicago space. Démosthène lures you into a phantasmagoric sphere with her sparkly surfaces and her amphibious marble-like figures adorned with aquatic accents. 


Démosthène’s contemporary take on the body, in the form of multi-media paintings and collage, represented otherworldly dystopian characteristics, furthering the artists’ study of our divine spirit. Démosthène’s heroines criticized beauty canons through the narrative of her self-made feminine heroes. In this body of work, the artist questions, How do we connect to our inner essence? How do we connect to our ‘self,’ while disconnecting from stories and religions we have been taught?”


The duality of her figures considers stereotypical and two-dimensional notions of the black female body. The artist presents her adulation for duplicates by portraying her own body, often duplicated. The existence of twins has provoked curiosity and veneration amongst numerous societies, particularly in West African and Haitian sacred cultures. 


Démosthène’s art is comprehensively performative, emphasizing flesh and form among an evanescent backdrop. The use of mylar, inherent to her former architectural training, enhances the lack of permanence in the background suggesting the figures are floating and translucent. Between reverie and reality, dream and nightmare, possibility and actuality, Démosthène plunges the viewer into her intertwined almost science-fiction dimension.