In 1951, Otto Steinert photographed the blurred ballet of cars around the Arc de Triomphe from above; twenty-five years later, Jan Groover took a series of photographs of cars driving. A capture of the blur resulting from movement (the “motion blur”) that may seem outdated compared to the blurs of focus or made by filters, which are used and abused today. Varying according to fashion and its uses (more or less narrative or atmospheric…), this aesthetic of the blur appears from the origins of photography, as shown by the 400 works gathered in the brand-new museum for photography in Lausanne, Photo Elysée.
From the iconic Composition with a figure and basket on a beach by Florence Henri (circa 1930), to the irresistible view of the Alps by Bernard Plossu (circa 1970), from the opaque faces of Murielle Michetti-Baumgartner (2005) to the hypnotic Fire & Fury from the Apocalyptic-Post series by Catherine Leutenegger (2022), we plunge with delight into this art of mystification and idealization.
“Man Ray, who through deformations, prolonged poses or special focus producing strange, distressing blurs, manages to provide us with this emotion so subtle that few are those who manage to analyze it… […] He photographs our desires, he takes pictures of the world and of the world. He photographs our desires, he photographs our dreams,” reads Claude Heymann (in 1926) in the catalog1 that accompanies the exhibition and reviews all the blurs, from the “pictorialist blur” of the beginnings of photography to the “contemporary blur” through the “experimental blur of the avant-garde.”
FLOU. A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY.
PLACE DE LA GARE, LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND
Until May 21
1 FLOU. A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY, CATALOG PUBLISHED BY DELPIRE & CO / PHOTO ELYSEE