Bernard Bazile — 3615

Exhibition

Photography

Bernard Bazile
3615

Ends in about 1 month: November 19, 2019 → January 11, 2020

Since the late 1970s, Bernard Bazile observes Reality and History through photography, video, sculpture, performance and installation.

He considers as material both works such as those of François Boucher or Mel Ramos as well as urban furniture such as Orange Juice Stands (run by job seekers), neon signs, landscape wall paintings inside cafés, restaurants or cabarets.

He points, makes visible and perceptible the current reality of public space in which advertising influences audience. He allows us to perceive both what we must face and what is looking at us, what observes us. Bazile notes our behaviours like an attentive observer, facing all the multiple facets of power and its representation.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the minitel has been developed by the French administration of Postal services and Telecommunication (PTT) and was used in France before being replaced by Internet. This service, similar to our chat rooms, marks the minds through its adult contents, called “minitel rose”, which can be reached via the prefix 3615. This virtual, paid, anonymous service, but without images, has to be materialized in the public space to attract customers, male clients in general. Some large billboards appear then, on which we can see the women who supposedly respond to the customers of “téléphone rose”.

Bazile takes photographs of these 3615 billboards and glues them together in little spiralled and checkered notebooks. These small-size notebooks emphasise the contrast between privacy (erotic photographs that were cut and stuck in these notebooks), and public exposure (photographs displayed on big advertising billboards belonging to the companies Dauphin, Giraudy or JCDecaux, among others).

In the same time, Bernard Bazile works on how the public interacts with these advertisements. While contact with the women shown on the billboards is impossible, graffitis and messages sometimes written directly on the advertising posters are so many attempts to communicate destined to fail. The exhibition will present in particular a series of photographs printed for the occasion, of a house in the country covered by minitel rose posters and a graffiti telling NANA77: “I love you”. Bazile turns around his subject to see all of its faces, as if contemplating a sculpture. Bazile’s 3615 collection lets us catch a glimpse of an erotic desire exposed in plain sight, treated on the same level than other mass market products. It’s interesting to focus on this phenomenon, which is unimaginable today, at a time so sensitive when it deals with women bodies’ objectification. If our virtual relationships keep an inclination towards consumption, through online dating services or pornographic websites, it remains strictly private. The public aspect of Bazile’s collection questions our stereotypes about the supposed open-mindedness of our twenty-first century society.

Three 3615 notebooks by Bernard Bazile are produced by mfc-michèle didier and presented at the exhibition. The images contained in these notebooks, made during the artist’s wanderings across the territory, are an extract of the series 3615.