Inscape — Gilles Desrozier
Past: January 27 → March 1, 2012
«I confront myth with reality, banal architecture with masterpieces of our cultural héritage, nature with the urban… From these différences is born my truth, my conscience.»
In the spring of 1855, in Paris, and more specifically in the lanes of the World’s Fair which spread over the area today occupied by the Grand Palais, one would have crossed the shadowy silhouette of the poet Charles Baudelaire. Like many other curious people, he was examining the thousands of technical inventions presented on the occasion of this immense international event that gathered the industries and artisans of the entire world. Photography was only officially sixteen years old at the time, and Baudelaire was quite wary of it, fearing that would abridge the faculties of thought, of creation, of the idealization of the human being, so magnetic (and demeaning, in his eyes) was its manner of recording reality, of documenting it passively. But perhaps Baudelaire would not have been so reluctant had he been able to anticipate the fate of this extravagant medium and what it has become in the 21st century, thanks to the contribution of digital technologies of which Gilles Desrozier is today recognized as a legitimately consecrated, distinguished representative.
Here, thanks to the Inscape series, was proof, definitive proof, that photography held an admirable evocative power, a power as yet unsuspected, or if so very slightly, as of the middle of the nineteenth century. Baudelaire called imagination « the queen of the faculties. » Gilles Desrozier is giving first of all a tribute to Baudelaire, showing, without recourse to spectacular effects, an extraordinary sense of combination, association and, to use the classic word par excellence, composition. What he promotes are clear and conscious hallucinations. Just as the geniuses of fantasmogory of the sixteenth century- Bosch, Bruegel, Arcimboldo…- or those of surrealist figuration- Chirico, Dali, Magritte…- worked their vision with virtuosic acuity to render the improbable plausible. It is in this prestigious lineage that figures the digital work of Gilles Desrozier.
In so doing, Gilles Desrozier affirms himself as a veritable poet of the contemporary period. Not by his themes, though they correspond for some to what is communally known as poetry, but by his manner of breaking definitions, which is to say reason. Where sound stumbles because the space is transformed to the point of visual paradox, arises the poetic, at once elusive, striking, incongruous, ironic and funny too. Gilles Desrozier does not wish simply to confuse perception- all things considered, a simple and conventional exercise -, he also wishes to enchant. His knowledge of framing and sense of chromatic chords produce electrifying visual excitement. His work is, in fact, a world unto itself, resulting from the encounter between different realities. He himself tells how the Inscape series stems from the personal experience of a childhood fantasy where the image of a forest absorbed him, body and mind, into the forest itself. In turn, Desrozier sucks us into his interior universe.
The Intensity of Myth
This still needs to be described: It is based upon a competition, dull but tenacious, between architecture and nature. There is nothing blandly ecological or environmental in it. This is most likely the visualization of a tension. Desrozier’s work has a careful texture, an impeccable attention to detail, without which we would not believe in his visions, but he also allows clash and accident to surface by confronting polar opposites: Wall and perspective, within and without, top and bottom, animate and inanimate, life and death, ideal and material. In this way, myths are born. From a meeting between two spheres— once those of gods and men— and a mysterious dialogue, often initiatic, sometimes painful between them. There is nothing left but to listen by looking.
Opening Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 7 PM
14, rue Debelleyme
T. 01 42 76 91 57 — F. 01 42 76 91 57
Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment