August-September 2010, Paris, Lucernaire, Exhibition.
My work is based on perception, the relationship we have with our environment, and how I can finally transform the document to see something else than the environment shown on this document, trying to show what I've seen on it. For example, BLACKSCAPE. What people have seen during the exhibition is sand, coal, a desert, an arid and lifeless place, something that could be likened to Mars, to the contemplation of a hostile universe. Each series of photographs has a diversion. I established a sort of list of all the elements that make up a landscape, an environment, in the unconscious. Someone's memory that can recognize the environment in which we are with all its parameters, like sand for example, colors, shadows, etc. It's something I've realized gradually, and that allowed me to change the way of perception. This black place is a negative, and was used to be snow. Each series has its clue, more or less hidden, to find the diversion. The following series, or landscape, OFFSHORE 1 (and 2). People mostly see water, a sea, a waterfall, wave, storm, sea spray, etc. Others see a general movement, but still fields, still a storm or something similar. In the first set it was a contrast relation, now it's a scale one. It seems to be big but it's microscopic. The photographed area is not bigger than a hand. Here we see that the wind on the snow at this little scale works in the same way as it works on water on a bigger scale. Everything is real, no change of colors, cropping, etc. These are processes related to analog cameras and the picture coming from the sensor can be easily transformed to surprise the viewer.
ISOSHORE 255 RIFT
In the two following series, SEASHORE and SPACE it's a different kind of relation. I wasn't able to see the image during the shooting. It becomes a discovery for me and the viewer. Using a digital camera normally allows me to control the image, even on the screen, but I just see a white image for SEASHORE and a black image for SPACE, they're taken under unfavorable conditions of light for the photography. SEASHORE during a foggy day with no visibility, SPACE during the night without moon even with no light source coming from the side. The revelation of the image to me and the viewer comes through the process of tranformation of the pixel, to improve the little information that remains on it. These difficult conditions of shooting greatly increases the artifacts on the image. The colors, lines, lights, everything is extreme, the image is fully filled of artifacts. We finally have: excessive noise, pointillism, garish colors, non-existent stains, etc. My funny question is: how SPACE ESPACE would have looked like if we had a better night vision, would we have seen these colors? Probably not. One sure thing is that even if at night all cats are not gray they're not even purple! The amazing thing is the conservation of certain parameters that make up the landscape, despite the absence of light. SPACE ESPACE reveals the sand under the water in the foreground, with no light source. This remains a mystery to me, that made me chose this picture at the beginning of this research on perception, and left me with no voice for 6 months before I started to produce other images.
Then, I tried to use a single element of our memory in the simplest way to define a landscape. For FLATLINE, landscape is defined only with a line, it exists with as little information as possible: the difference of color. For the videos ISOSHORE 255 and photographies ISOSHORE 13, which are not real pictures and not yet real videos, I tried to determine the light source. In the unconscious, everyone knows where is the light source in an environment (the same for a picture), but without this knowledge, supposition of course, nothing allows us to say where is the source of light. Everything is material, the sky is as solid, structured and colorful as the sea, its reflections, or any other element in the photo. Thanks to the process of decomposition I used, it became possible to group elements according to their proximity to the light source. The whiter the line is, the closer the light source is, and vice versa if the line is black. The most recognizable images because of their not so abstract compositions are ISOSHORE 255 SEASCAPE and ISOSHORE 255 DYKE. We understand this process better on the two videos of ISOSHORE 13, which recovers the inherent movement we usually see on a landscape, even if it seems not to move: the surf of the sea, the trees in the wind, the clouds in the sky and so on.
OFFSHORE 1 and SEASHORE INLAND
So I try, step by step, to get closer to the conditions I felt at the moment of shooting, trying to rebuild all the parameters of that very moment. SEALIGHT is shown in a light box. When I was shooting this image the place was completely dark. There was no moon or light source coming from the coast, and I couldn't even see the horizon, most of the time still visible. It's a very long time exposure image that allowed me to see what I had in front of me, I had no reference. The device showed me what was completely invisible to my eyes, with the noise and colors associated to non-light conditions! At this stage of my research, the way I worked on perception is heavily dependent on machines. The idea of a name naturally arises in me: Sensitive System is this crossroad of accidents becoming gradually mechanics and that can be substantially a particular perception of the environment.