Studio Marlot & Chopard — Printed memories
Studio Marlot & Chopard
Past: November 7 → December 6, 2014
For its second exhibition and in parallel with the Month of Photography, the Galerie Jérôme Pauchant presents the French duo artists Rémy Marlot and Ariane Chopard.
This exhibition presents their most recent series entitled Souvenirs d’Italie, next to Black houses, the first series they created in black and white. The reversing process of black and white links both photographic series, as well as one topic: memory.
The images of Black houses (2006) hold different layers of grey whose carefully worked execution offers a very dense black and white rendering. They represent residential areas from Bourges (Centre of France) built during the first half of the 20th century and taken from a high-angle view. This choice of framing accentuates the singular architectural dimension of the roofs and facades; they become similar to castles or sometimes disturbing, fabulous abodes, the inversion into negative giving a nocturnal dimension. Their gardens, the bricks of their walls or the paving of their courtyards become pure forms, sliced by the contrasts created by black and white. Doors and windows illuminated from the inside by the inverted light irresistibly invite you to enter a strange and enigmatic world.
As Quentin Bajac points out, “French suburban residential areas literally reveal themselves into another light. As, however dreamlike, the inversion of the values creates its own logic. While causing a loss of relief, it does not just dematerialize the subject. By modifying the traditional way of perception, it offers a new configuration to the object, enhances the insignificant ordinary elements (electric wires for instance), in short it has a revealing role”.
Souvenirs d’Italie (2014) is made of landscapes shot in different places across France, evoking the exotic idea of a fantasized Italy: the Italy as we know it from the classic artists’ journeys or the trip to Italy from which Rémy Marlot and Ariane Chopard did not take any picture. The classic Italian landscape is expressed through a number of views combining sculpture and architecture to plants or gardens, the sea to the mountains under the intense and contrasted emblematic southern lights. Ponds, cypresses, palm trees, cemeteries, seaside or columns are many symbols of a reconstructed Italy. The wear of time and the aesthetical balance of the gardens, between mastery and neglect, are characteristic to Souvenirs d’Italie and beyond that, to Rémy Marlot and Ariane Chopard’s work.
The digital black and white treatment of the image with some reversed parts evokes old prints that have been damaged by time or fading. Also, the materiality of the prints from this series induces a feeling of this specific deletion questioning our relation to time, to memory and to disappearance.
In Souvenirs d’Italie, memory is re-created, not by the image recalling the souvenir but the souvenir itself being its source.
In both series, the works do not describe places but function as mental images, recollections, a déja vu or dreamt sensation much more than a simple site depiction.
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