«The digital world is expanding and the analogue world is contracting,» says Carmen Winant, who has turned the massive collection of archival images and their reappropriation into a new plastic and narrative medium. Following the example of the American photographer, whose images in her latest mural mosaics are detached from the wall to occupy the space in all its three dimensions, a number of artists today use the photographic image, freed from its role of representation, as a raw material, a substrate to be explored, decomposed and recomposed.
It is to these multiple practices that the new Offscreen exhibition, whose first edition has just been held in the sumptuous Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild (11, rue Berryer) in Paris, is dedicated. Videos, films, immersive installations, photographic mobiles, light sculptures, digital works… this fair, which welcomes both historical and emerging artists, comes at the right time to take account of the mutations and extensions of the photographic field, which is undergoing a complete metamorphosis..
Mustapha Azeroual / Binome Gallery
Represented by the Binome Gallery, which specializes in new forms of photography that go beyond the presupposed limits of the image (flatness, two-dimensionality, temporality), Mustapha Azeroual is developing alchemical research at the frontier of matter and immateriality, of the visible and the invisible, which could be mistaken for a crazy dream like the quest for the Philosopher’s Stone: It is a question of fixing light, which is by definition intangible, of «reifying» it and, in so doing, of introducing into the materiality of the image a mutability, that of the ever-changing light. Thus, in his Monade series, he succeeded in «capturing» luminous flashes in layers of fluorescent pigments using the old technique of printing with gum bichromate, while in his Radiance series he succeeded in multiplying the «photographic moment»: the result of thousands of shots of the same landscape at dawn and dusk – digitally synthesized before composing an abstract painting with polychrome stripes by superimposition. These hypnotic canvases vary infinitely, according to the movements of the viewer… A fascinating «experience of time» through the colors of light…
Daisuke Yokota/ Jean-Kenta Gauthier
It is also as pure material and not as an image (representing an external reality) that the Japanese photographer Daisuke Yokota considers his relationship to the photographic medium. Produced by solarization – overexposure of the negative film generating an inversion of values (dark/light) -, his series w show the last stage of the mutation of the photographic image into an abstract painting, of the «imprint» (of the real) into spots. Moving shadows, games of brilliance and opacity, of fluctuations and imbrications, of superimpositions and reverberations, flows, mottles, moirages… Composing two large polyptychs, these «photographic paintings» composed from abstract paintings transformed into negatives, reverse our look.
Carmen Winant/ Patron Gallery
In the great maelstrom of images of our digitalized world, Carmen Winant draws as if from a bottomless pit and, according to the thousands of images collected, recomposes narratives blurring the border between the intimate and the collective. Placed side by side and hollowed out, cut out in their center as if to hold up a mirror to us, these distorted photographs speak to us of invisibility and disappearance, of the universality of pain and small happinesses, of the interchangeability of points of view and perhaps also of bodies and hearts dispossessed of their interiority…