It is in the heart of urban wastelands that the work of Marcel Émilien hatched. He is first intrigued by the traces that bear witness to slices of past lives.
He immerses himself in the time he spends in these places where man has ceased all activity. By investigating more through drawing, painting, then photography, he understands that there reigns a vital element to his most intimate questioning.
In 2006, he designed "Periscopes", "Les Nones" and "French Window" which are 3 devices installed in situ in the city of Toulon (France).
Each of them restores sight to passers-by on aborted construction sites barricaded by the authorities. The intention of the artist is then to encourage us to break the daily pace to take the time to look sideways.
Pass over the barriers to observe the hidden beauty of a city. The massive blocks of raw concrete sculpt the space while drippings of rust soak them, offering themselves to us like a pictorial work in the open air.
It was in 2013, during a trip to Cambodia that he became aware of an important element invisible to him until then.
What he observed before in the abandoned places seems to be present in one of the temples of Angkor which he discovers dazzled.
He then understands that the sacred architecture put in place here coordinates massive blocks cut from rough stone to give shape to the void. He will then talk about the consistency of the void in his photographic series "Inside Doors".
He continues his work in the heart of the medina of Fez, spiritual city of Morocco. As he strolls, camera in hand, he allows himself to be whispered in his ear of millennia of history through the old carved wooden doors of ancestral dwellings.
These works, never revealed to the public, are part of the artist's private collection.
Marcel Émilien undertakes a journey of several months in Southeast Asia to confront a culture of introspection, in which customs are imbued with spirituality.
In 2019, he decided on a short stopover in the city of Georgetown in Malaysia, where he rediscovered his love fordecrepit surfaces. The humidity mixed with the torrid heat of the alleys allow the paint to flake off the facades, forming abstract pictorial compositions.
He begins the photographic series "Under The Skin" in which appear the abstract paintings of life, those which survey the walls of the most populated cities in the world.
They bear witness to the passage of time and question the necessity of the painter as the creator of the work.
Is the consistency of the void of aborted construction sites