Whether cut out, cut up, troubled and troubling, pixelated, projected, cropped, animated, manipulated, reprinted, ground up, or even dismembered, photography is a sensitive surface that offers up a virtually endless list of variations on its medium. It is precisely this photographic surface, which defies and exceeds all bounds, that forms the subject of the exhibition “Surfaces Sans Cible” – a title whose play on two French homophones conjures up the duality of photography as a surface both sensitive (sensible) and with no target (sans cible).
At a time when smartphones can project breathtaking images faster than they cast a shadow, when the web allows people to share infinite versions of these images across social media in a flash, when technology has democratized the art of photography to such a point that each one of us is just a click away from becoming an amateur photographer, “Surface Sans Cible” undertakes a timely inquiry into the status of the artist in today’s world.
How does the artist distinguish their work within this constant flow of snapshots? Where is the artist’s place within the deluge of images, all promising the dream of domestic comfort and bliss? How can the artist resist the general alienation wrought by the myriad images floating around social media: the endless series of Instagram sunsets, the poolside pics, and the countless party scenes flooding Facebook, Pinterest, and other platforms for self-promotion?
Far from the overly perfect snapshots produced in mass and devoid of life that flitter across our screens, far from the billions of splendid vistas drained of all substance, beyond any concept of standardization, twenty wildly inspired artists from every generation project their mental images on the walls of 22Visconti. The “sensitive surfaces” they present to viewers exist on a plane of their own, with no underlying marketing logic, and so no target audience. Each image exists only for its own sake.
Whether a record or a memory, whether abstract or concrete, whether fixed or animated, whether it titillates the optic nerve, plunges into the windows of our screens, calls us to introspection, or begins to chatter away, every image leaves its conventional setting behind to partake in escapades both virtual and real. In short, by remaining in movement – or in constant revolution – photography delights in its infinite potential for reinvention, while never tumbling into the capitalist spiral that turns each of us into mere products destined to devour ourselves ravenously, though without pleasure.
With Chris Burden, Nicolas Comment, Paul Créange, Karin Crona, Léo Dorfner, Elsa & Johanna, Alice Guittard, Sophie Kitching, Claude Lévêque, Allan Mccollum, Garush Melkonyan, Gianni Motti, Constance Nouvel, Denis Oppenheim, Frank Perrin, Baptiste Rabichon, Araks Sahakyan, Loup Sarion, Clarisse Tranchard.