Camille Laurelli / Open Water /

Posted on: July 8th, 2020 by & No Comments

“Artist Camille Laurelli (…) grew up with Tetris at the golden age of the 80’s and 90’s video games. He has witnessed the lack of imagination of programmers and seen how consoles such as Atari 2600 almost managed to ruin the fun. There was an economic war being fought among video game producers in Western Europe and in Japan and it was caused by North American video game crash of 1983. It is thanks to Mario and because Nintendo didn’t call their first machine a video game, that the playful future was saved. A hedgehog called Sonic, from a company called Sega, gave to video games a new lease of life and launched a technological competition that still has no end in sight. At that time in Eastern Europe, the market was flooded by cheap copies and clones of these game machines. But that is another story.” (Laurelli, p. 11)

“Camille Laurelli (born 1981) is a French artist, familiar to Estonian art audiences largely due to her participation in curatorial projects at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (‘Side Effects’ and ‘& So On & So Fporth’, both from 2013). She studied art at art institutes in Annecy and Grenoble. Laurelli works in different media including video, sculpture, performance and photography. In the 40-pieces series ‘Hour Glasses’ (2007–2015) she photographed cigarette butts, brimming ash trays becoming a kind of mechanism for marking passing time.” (Laurelli, p. 10)

The playfulness, no doubt, is the basement for Camille Laurelli, no matter who she/he really is. Their strategy is to confuse, to mislead, to catch, to pirate, to “dérive”. To throw us into the water, into the “Open Water” let’s say more precisely. To throw us into such water with all the emotions based on the experience of small ten years old Corsican boy who just watched a Jaws movie, sitting on the beach right behind the house and carefully observing the sea level. But the reason is not to spook us or to ensure the dominance over us. The reason is to keep our mind open, even in less safety, but with the still present hope for playful excitement and adventure. Even if it would be in the service of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
After all, no rescue is coming, neither any danger. Open Water is just saving our screen and all the piracy is based on appropriation. But still, we should never lie back on one’s laurels. Keep your mind open: unknown monsters can appear at any time anywhere.

Camille Laurelli. CAMILLE 3. [online] Available at

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