Stéphane Couturier at the Fernand Léger Museum of Biot
In its relationship to reality as in its framing, photography inherits directly from painting. To this, however, is added this mechanical aspect which jeopardizes any notion of subjectivity, not to make it disappear but rather because the technique marks the points of convergence or opposition between what the eye perceives and what the device restores. Fernand Léger was the painter who expressed his fascination for the technical world, the machines and the new architecture that this mechanical world engendered. Photographer, Stéphane Couturier pursues this quest for the representation and powers of the image by superimposing itself, literally and figuratively, on Léger’s work. More than a dialogue, it is a debate that begins, on a historical background, between the two artists since the painter expressed the greatness of the modern world when the photographer opposes its disappearance, its dissolution in the digital world to its exaltation: the photographic medium is no longer enslaved to reality but it testifies here to its progressive erasure.
To the architectural power of Fernand Léger’s paintings, Stéphane Couturier responds with monumental photographs that seem to take up the painter’s framework and framework. But where a new reality emerged, it is now beaches of reality that dissolve, scraps of signs to describe its exhaustion. Photography is formulated here on a superposition of images and this influx causes a blurring effect, a destruction of perspective and, in fine, this flattening of an abstraction which, paradoxically, takes on a documentary value.
Stéphane Couturier works in series from images created for this confrontation in homage to Léger, but also with older photographs. Whether it is photographs taken in Sète, Brasilia, architectural points of view or photographs of factories, these series speak of painting and perhaps also of its disappearance. These fragmented images in which only traces, colours, rhythms and planes remain enunciate the power of this painting and this mysterious disorder that only it can still carry.
FERNAND LEGER MUSEUM
From October 6, 2018 to March 4, 2019
Chemin du Val de Pôme, 06410 Biot
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