documentation céline duval

impressions paysages

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Art works © documentation céline duval
Photos : © Semiose galerie, Paris


Exhibition from January 9th to February 20th 2016, Semiose galerie, Paris
Curator: Benoît Porcher

The Artist’s Website
documentation céline duval

Look at the Project
3 temps, 4 mouvements
As her name suggests, documentation céline duval has always preferred to remain in the background in order to afford a better view of her work. That in essence is the paradigm: remove one’s own body – that of the artist – in order to better achieve the transfiguration of those of others. This is precisely how she follows her vision; bringing images that no one ever sees out of the shadows, confronting us with something we might otherwise have missed. This desire to show what is invisible, the masterful way in which images are collected together and her profound interest for what is outside the frame are the focal points of what constitutes the artistic research of documentation céline duval.

With her exhibition impressions  paysages, the artist continues in the same vein but with a return towards the gestural, towards the hand that makes things, to a finger, which points towards what we should be looking at in her new series.

Points de vues opens the exhibition and encourages us to take a stroll, in contemplation, with the promise of a landscape we owe it to ourselves to discover, sitting on these white benches, stabilised by the body weight of the ghosts passing by. For almost fifteen years the body has been central to the collection of images and documents the artist has put together, but within this exhibition she also invites us to explore questions of landscape and a return to nature.

Most are aware that the “documentation” in question, is made up of amateur images but it is less well known that this collection began with postcards. Today, as was the case with the series of advertising images (Les allumeuses, 1998-2010), most of which had been liberated by fire from their original destiny, the artist is once again showing her desire to move towards different preoccupations. The images that up to the present had been mainly scanned, restored or in the form of previously published material are now re-photographed and exhibited as series.

The act of re-photographing is the same in Vu !, a series of 24 photographs in reference to the artist’s first published work. The anonymous bodies are there, yet each glance or look towards the photographer completely annihilates any neutrality that might be associated with a postcard. Thus a similar relationship to that involvinga painter and model appears, a surprising twist taking us back to the original decisive moment, an image we might never have been aware of if documentation céline duval hadn’t brought it to our notice.

“Anything can be an image” she tells us “from the moment light falls on a surface”. It’s perfectly true. A rebellious heir to Talbot and Emerson, documentation céline duval came up with the idea of placing a screen facing the sun behind what she calls “obstacles” - a field, a tree, some foliage… From this simple yet
complex act a set of cyanotypes have emerged. These new oeuvres whilst full of sensitivity are by no means romantic and might easily remind the spectator of prints or drawings. Far beyond the technique used and above all the subject, they carry the author’s desire to close a circle, continuing in the same vein by minimising intermediary factors and any outside interference whilst showing an image that has never been noticed.

In our hyper-saturated world, proposing a new vision of old images, collecting photographs of forgotten families and creating new images from them might seem like a Sisyphean adventure. In reality, documentation céline duval is a contented Camusian Sisyphus, finding her happiness in the task she has undertaken.

— Émilie Flory
Brussels, November 2015

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