Playing with invented chemical processes, projections, surprising layers of photography and paint, Rochat’s daring installations refuse to conform to the confines of the walls and are always conceived as site-specific. Taking into account the practical and architectural possibilities of her exhibition space – whether a gallery, book or video – she experiments with invading images, transparencies, and light effects.
Rochat creates framed works made from inkjet print on silver paper or transparent plastic with handmade cuts and varnish. Once framed, further processes in spray paint and/or varnish add another complex layer to the pieces, the artist refusing to allow the work to rest at its expected finish. Prints on banners become wall hangings with additional painted layers, and she further manipulates her images to create usable objects, such as cotton blankets or bomber jackets.
Deployed in the space, the works have a shared vocabulary of similar textures and colors, binding different pieces to create a sense of unity.
Inspired by the altering states of matter transforming in the natural world – the sculpting forces of continually moving water, rocks transformed by rivers, solids turning to liquids and back again – she adds layers of transformation into each of her images, creating her own process of sedimentation.
With various scales and rhythms, Rochat adds projected live paintings (on overhead projectors), which she changes throughout the course of an exhibition to create a moving and contemplative collage. Generating a slow ongoing process of a mutating image, she reflects a world in permanent flux.
Maya Rochat (b. 1985, Morges, CH) is a visual artist based in Lausanne and working in the fields of photography, painting, video, performance, and installation. Her work has been presented in institutions such as Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; Kunsthaus Langenthal, Langenthal, CH; Centre Culturel Suisse (library), Paris, France; Quai N°1; La Filature, Mulhouse, France; [ 7] P FOTOFESTIVAL, London, UK; TATE Modern (Turbine hall), London, UK; FOTOMUSEUM Winterthur, Winterthur, CH; Centre de la Photographie Genève, Geneva, CH; Bâtiment pour l’Art Contemporain, Geneva, CH; Centre PasquArt, Biel, CH and Fotohof Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
Maya Rochat is a laureate of the Fondation Leenaards Grant and the Abraham Hermanjat Grant. She was invited for artist residencies at “Project Space” Centre d’art Contemporain Genève, Verzasca FOTO Festival and Air Berlin Alexanderplatz. Her published artist books include: “A ROCK IS A RIVER” by Self Publish, Be Happy, “Crystal Clear” by Editions Patrick Frey and “A Plastic Tool” by Meta/Books. She published “Vote for me” and “Ma tête à couper” with Hard-copy. Maya’s images are published by international art reviews and magazines such as Aperture, Photography & culture, YET, Le Phare, Foam, THE PHOTOBOOK REVIEW, British Journal of Photography, etc.
Previously, she participated in the group exhibition ‘The Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art’ at Tate Modern, London (May – October 2018) with work following from her solo exhibition in Basel ‘A River is a Rock’ at VITRINE, Basel (December 2017 – February 2018). She was also part of the group exhibition at Le Commun, Geneva (July-August 2018).
Rochat was awarded the Prix Mobilière 2019.