Collection: Capucine Bourcart

My work discusses the social codes of values and etiquette that society imposes on the family environment. For generations, in France my ancestors ran a successful business in the textile industry, constructing looms. However, my mother, coming from a different social background, gave my siblings and me a strict education to follow the etiquette of my father's family and their social standing in the past. As a result, I grew up with a fear of social failure that constricted my actions, and I was unable to freely explore the world around me due to the invisible framework that restrained my freedom of expression.

As a multidisciplinary artist living and working in New York City since 2006, I explore the interplay between personal desire and societal norms through the exploration of the world. I communicate using unconventional materials that I embroider, knit, and sew onto substrates that represent the writing surface, skin, and ground. For instance, I incorporate unusual everyday materials like plastic bags from my local supermarket, fur from my cat, and dirt from my hometown to create a private, coded language that challenges social expectations. I also use discarded materials like old clothes from my family, dryer lint, and sand from my travels.

In essence, I challenge the notions of “high” and “low” class, and “high” and “low” art, by elevating the ordinary and often overlooked into the realm of art. My work restores dignity to the dismissed, the unwanted, and the seemingly mundane. Each body of work entails constructing and deconstructing rules. In my process, I strive to be free, joyful, playful, and humorous—ways of resisting strictness.