Philippe Bazin, Antichambres


Photography, video

Philippe Bazin, Antichambres

Past: September 9 → October 22, 2011

Philippe Bazin presents two series of his photographic work here, bearing witness to that powerful relationship between the aesthetic and the political that constitutes its core: Antechambers and The Presidents.

The visual force of the images, the rigor of the lines, the sharpness of the colors impose the Antechambers series in which the construction of space, leaving room for the circulation of voids, never lets itself be drawn into it. The images were shot in Poland, in asylum or detention centers for Chechen migrants, and resonate with the text of Christiane Vollaire, who presents the philosophical part of this project carried out in tandem.

The perfectly targeted form of the documentary aesthetics takes the opposite stance from the visual standards of photo-journalism, each image asserting itself both in its autonomy and its relation to the series, to create a system in which these spaces, that cannot be appropriated, are put at a distance. They are cadenced in three moments, each initiated, in an echo of Piranesi’s work, by a descending staircase: colored tones and random arrangement of textures in the setting of the family rooms; austerity of the common rooms separated by the gray of the roofs; geometry without variation of the detention cells. Not a single figure is present in them.

As a counterpoint to these fragile spaces, the series The Presidents shows these figures that are guardians of national sedentariness, springing forth each in his turn in the spotlights. Official photographs of presidents of the French Republic reframed on the faces, they are confronted here with these “nowhere places” that migratory policies construct.

In the United States on abolitionist sites, in Finland on Alvar Aalto’s architecture, in Portugal on the harbor worksites, on French territory and elsewhere, Philippe Bazin’s work constantly raises the question of the ordinary, in terms of viewpoints as well as the order of spaces. But the austere beauty of the images never masks the violence of the real: on the contrary, it does nothing other than capture it with a formidable subtleness.

  • Exhibition September 8 → October 29, 2011
  • Philippe Bazin, Antichambres — Brunch et rencontre avec l’artiste Meeting Saturday, October 22, 2011 11 AM → 1 PM

    A l’occasion de la prolongation d’Antichambres, un brunch est organisé en présence de l’artiste ; c’est également l’occasion pour lui de présenter son catalogue paru en édition limitée

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Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
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The artist

  • Philippe Bazin