Paris Photo : 23e édition — Secteur prismes



Paris Photo : 23e édition
Secteur prismes

Past: November 7 → 10, 2019

The Prisme sector is dedicated to the presentation of exceptional projects from large formats and series to installations. For this 5th edition, 14 projects are presented in the Salon d’Honneur of the Grand Palais, among which the large format works of Marie Cloquet (Annie Gentils, Antwerp) and Zohra Opoku (Mariane Ibrahim, Seattle), series by Susan Derges (Purdy Hicks, London) and the SubREAL group (Jecza, Timisoara) as well as installations by Marianne Csáky (Inda, Budapest).

Marie Cloquet

Born in 1976; lives and works in Ghent

In her work, Marie Cloquet likes to move from the center to the periphery, her eye is drawn to destruction, marginalization and the abject. Years ago, while traveling through the West African country of Mauritania, she became fascinated with Nouadhibou. In this coastal borderland town, Cloquet discovered ’a world under the radar’, which had clearly been deprived of the benefits of globalization. Slavery, beached shipwrecks and other debris, traces of (neo) colonialism and refugees stranded after a failed crossing to Europe: Nouadhibou, no matter how unknown and far away, is a scale model of current world issues.

Cloquet put together an extensive archive of photographs that she made in the coastal town, and uses it time and again to create her monumental landscapes on canvas. She considers the images, both digital and analog, as sketches and sees similarities between her process and that of classical painters. Similar to the way in which, for example, the Flemish masters arranged the sketches they made on site, once back in their studios, into new, realistic looking compositions, Cloquet cuts up and mixes her images into independent entities that remain only loosely connected with the real world. After manipulating the photos in the darkroom, she prints them on drawing paper, tears them up and reconstructs them collage-wise, using watercolor paint.

The rugged, anonymous worlds that emerge, play with scale, size and perspectives and simultaneously appeal, as places of devastation, to our collective memory; familiarity and alienation, attraction and repulsion come together in the viewing experience.If initially her pictures, mainly because of the analog production method, remained confined to the black and white spectrum, the artist has recently begun to gradually introduce color in her work. Cloquet does not speak in symbols, but rather in images.

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Marie Cloquet, Remnants III, 2019 Photographic emulsion and water colour on paper on canvas framed on aluminium and wood — 55 1/8 × 68 57/64 in Courtesy of the artist & Annie Gentils Gallery

Zohra Opoku

Born in Altdöbern, Germany, in 1976; lives and works in Accra, Ghana

Mariane Ibrahim presents Unraveled Threads, a solo presentation by Ghanian artist, Zohra Opoku. The work is a culmination of the artist’s past, particularly that of her parents, as she was born in former East Germany (GDR).

The series is a mixture of dreams and reality, and the prints on cotton reveal images of her father as an Asante king in the Volta Region in Ghana. Opoku dedicates this body of work to children who grew up as outsiders, and to those children who have persevered and created their own identities.

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Zohra Opoku, In Bob’s Footsteps, 2017 Screen print on cotton — 111 1/32 × 78 47/64 in Courtesy of the artist & Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Marianne Csáky

Born in Budapest, and lives and works in Brussels and Budapest.

Performing a kind of magic, Marianne Csaky’s handcrafted light-boxes create time tunnels between the present and the past. The series is titled Time Leap, and consists of over 20 pieces in total, divided into four sets, the Summer series; Winter series; Garden series; and Garden.

In each tiny light-box, Csaky paradoxically appears in the same archival documentary images as a child and an adult at the same time. She uses the photographic image to open tiny wormholes, Einstein-Rosen bridges to move through time. For who wouldn’t like to travel back in time and look at his or her past self with the consciousness and experience they have in the present ?

Mostly made over the period of 2007-2008 and some in 2018-2019, the tiny light-boxes are constructed through meticulous handwork from film negatives, wire frames and mirrors to use external light. The manipulated film negatives are based on old photo-negatives taken by the artist’s grandfather, an enthusiastic amateur photographer, when Csaky was 8 months to 4 years old. When the grandfather died, the artist inherited his collection of some 2,500 glass-negatives and film-negatives.

Manipulating the grandfather’s negatives meant an illusion that she can rewrite history not only in remembrance and through interpretation, but directly when the past happens. Technically, it meant that she made a copy of the negatives in their original size, 6cm by 9cm. Then she took colour shots of herself and inserted them into the original black and white negatives. This series is a documentation of the painful efforts of memory and post-memory work leading to rewriting our past in order to change our present.

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Marianne Csáky, Time Leap, Garden Series 3, 2007 Photographic emulsion and water colour on paper on canvas framed on aluminium and wood — 2 23/64 × 3 35/64 × 3 35/64 in Courtesy of the artist & Inda Gallery


Susan Derges

Born in London, United Kingdom, in 1955; lives and works in Devon

Purdy Hicks is pleased to announce a solo presentation of Susan Derges’ unique early works. The display will comprise five large scale photograms, which respond to elemental themes of the land and sea and the influence of the moon on tides and fertility. Her practice explores relationships between the self and nature or the imagined and the real, intertwining iconographies of scientific observations, ritual assimilations, and oneirism.

Derges’ works have taken many photographic forms but she is best known for her pioneering technique of capturing the continuous movement of water by immersing photo-sensitive paper directly into rivers or shorelines, or by creating composite prints in the studio, using natural elements and transparencies. Here, three Spawn photograms made in 2008 show a sequence of frog spawn as it metamorphoses beneath the moon suggesting earthly and lunar cycles of change and renewal.

Made in a tank in the artist’s studio, Spawn was printed directly onto colour positive photo paper. Projected transparencies of sky and moon were used as the light source for making the exposures and give each print its particular colour and key. Two Shoreline photograms made on location at night on the Devon coast in 1998 reveal the detail and tonal variations of a single wave as it crossed the colour positive or monochrome negative paper laid out on the shore’s edge. By passing light through water onto stationary paper she captures the sea meeting the earth like no other artist.

Susan Derges’ practice reflects the work of the earliest pioneers of photography but is also very contemporary in its awareness of environmental issues and the complexity of its conceptual meanings.

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Susan Derges, Larvae, 2007 Unique Dye Destruction print — 67 23/32 × 40 15/16 in Courtesy of the artist & Purdy Hicks Gallery


SubREAL group

The subREAL group founded in 1990 by Călin Dan and Dan Mihălțianu was expanded in 1991 when Iosif Király joined the group. In 1993, Dan Mihălțianu left and subREAL continued to function as a duet until 2006. They positioned themselves as the spearhead of the post-communist transition. The group’s identity was stamped by post-conceptual working attitudes, overstated with irony and self-mockery.

SubREAL was the first post-1989 collective to introduce to the Romanian art context a diversified operating mode and submit it to others in a variety of forms that will awaken, question and change the viewer’s knowledge. The methodical approaches were ranging from historical reflection combined with multiple explorations of the native artistic and institutional context. Most of their works are contextual: they reacted to the physical or symbolic characteristics of the spaces within which the group had the opportunity to work, often hosted by Western institutions. The conceptual coherence of the subREAL approach and the fact that they had been prolific, brought them to adapt quickly to various social and institutional issues. One of the most internationally known projects focused on Arta magazine photographic archive and highlighted their concern upon the way the art system functions in Romania and issues of representation via photographic images.

This kind of reflection upon institutions was a first in the context of contemporary Romanian art. subREAL captured the stereotypes and distortions induced by the vectors of globalization but did not, however, harbor any illusions when it came to the way in which the West was to view the post-communist reality of Eastern Europe.

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Sub Real Group, Subreal group, subREAL_MACROmicron, Stockholm, 2000 Inkjet print — 17 23/32 × 23 5/8 in
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3, av du Général Eisenhower

75008 Paris

T. 01 44 13 17 17

Official website

Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau
Franklin D.Roosevelt

Opening hours

The opening hours of the Grand Palais depend on the exhibitions or events that occur there

Admission fee

Full rate €30.00 — Concessions €15.00

The artists

  • Igor Eskinja
  • Olaf Breuning
  • Joel Sternfeld
  • Inez & Vinoodh
  • Marie Cloquet
  • Stéphane Lavoué
  • Marianne Csáky
  • Sub Real Group
  • Zohra Opoku
  • Marco Maria Zanin
And 3 others…