Faits et causes

L’exposition Faits et causes prend ancrage dans les installations photographiques récentes de l’artiste Lucie Rocher en focalisant sur leur processus de fabrication. Ses procédés de captation et d’exploration, qui rapprochent sa pratique photographique du médium sculptural, s’y trouvent révélés par une sélection d’œuvres et de non-œuvres qui questionnent les modes de visibilité et de présentation de l’image.

Certains artistes passent le langage photographique au peigne fin, en dissèquent les propriétés physiques, mécaniques et numériques, pour les explorer et les mettre au jour jusqu’à en supprimer toute représentation au profit d’une pratique conceptuelle plongée dans l’abstraction. Non étrangère à cette tangente formaliste, la pratique de Lucie Rocher revendique davantage un investissement vers la figuration. Elle s’accroche par métonymie au chantier de construction – à ces espaces parsemés d’amoncellements de matériaux, laissés tels quels, comme à celui de l’atelier – tant pour ses attributs formels que pour la précarité et l’apparence rudimentaire qu’il peut évoquer. L’espace photographié, ce réel capté, y devient parcellaire, voire absent, au profit du vide qui, lui, devient le protagoniste. Tributaire d’un processus poreux et perméable aux explorations, sa pratique s’édifie par strates.

Son sujet de prédilection, l’architecture, et par extension le paysage construit, est intarissable. Il s’offre dans tous ses états tant dans l’espace public que privé. Entre ses mains, il est continuellement sectionné, redoublé, plié, dissimulé, superposé, photographié et réimprimé. Le sujet s’y trouve investi d’une foulée de manipulations qui le rendent souvent méconnaissable ou magnifié à partir d’autres perspectives et angles d’approche.

Déjouant les codes de la photographie, ses œuvres et autres prototypes articulent une réflexion libre autour du cadre et une recherche soutenue sur les modes d’accrochage. Elles sont fixées au mur par du ruban adhésif, enroulées autour d’un clou à l’état brut, laissées sur une table, tant de façons d’y affirmer leur qualité d’objets usuels et résiduels. S’il y a cadre, et cela est plutôt rare, c’est qu’il participe à renforcer les propriétés conceptuelles et formelles de l’œuvre.

La nature frêle et passagère du papier journal, support pauvre et jetable présent dans la plupart des installations, contraste avec la solidité et la pérennité des matériaux représentés. Antinomiques, ses œuvres se construisent aussi par jeux d’échelle, de perspectives, de répétitions et de lignes diagonales qui dynamisent l’agencement spatial. Diagonal(e) table miroir (2017) condense l’ensemble de ces directions. La stabilité, une qualité normalement associée à l’objet-table, est détournée ici par la surface inclinée du dispositif, renforçant les effets de superposition et de multiplication des images, eux-mêmes intensifiés par la présence de miroirs.

Sépia (2017) rappelle quant à elle les clichés anciens de ton brunâtre associés à une certaine époque du médium. Or, ce dialogue avec l’histoire se poursuit avec l’espace de diffusion au-delà de la technique. Saisit lors du montage de l’exposition, un fragment de la galerie, réfléchi dans la vitre du cadre, occupe l’espace de la représentation. Si cet objet-cadre, anamorphose photographique, renvoie aux formes subtiles de saisissement du monde, il met aussi en évidence les moyens, traqués par l’artiste, pour rendre visibles tous les temps de construction d’une image.

 

Julie Alary Lavallée, juillet 2017, pour l’exposition Faits et causes

 

 

The location supports, the body rests against it, the location dominates, the body takes its place.

Above all, the photographic work of Lucie Rocher is striking because it offers the possibility of interpreting the nuances of the strength of its lines. In turn, the rhythm explodes, contours are accentuated and the depth becomes natural. Alternatively, the image becomes blurred and submits to taking on a new appearance. Simultaneously, this uniqueness seems to translate the intensity of the dynamic between the artist and their photography, as well as the bounty the image provides in its most dramatic aspect; a subtle abandonment, the tacit approval of self-revelation.

So, forget the frame, staging takes a back seat: the photograph becomes the reflection thrown back by a broken mirror. It provides an opportunity to project oneself, to access a configuration different to that of reality. Furthermore, the overexposure of the naked body, shaken up in an almost dazzling environment, accentuates the purely human appearance of the body; sensitive skin which absorbs all that is external to it.

In this first approach, it seemed important to add this. While some bodies of work are not well-suited to sharing, Lucie Rocher’s work effuses something which enables everyone to decipher a different discourse. Thus, the authenticity of perception would not be sought in static and common discourse, but in the multitude of feelings; in a confrontation of everybody against everybody and everybody against themselves. All individual projections would form a dynamic mass and an original contemplation of this photographic pursuit. Therefore, the latter is a constant confrontation between the internal elements of photography, between the artist and their work, or even between the audience and the work…

Inside bare architecture, sections of walls, doors, sharp edges and uncomfortable ledges stand in the way of the body. Unstable, it clings on, contorting itself, appearing to be without a defined outline and finally embracing the space. If this robust location contributes to body posturing, it seems that a similar photograph would have been possible by forcing a plant to grow in a specific shape and direction.

This wild grass, like the body, adapts spontaneously and makes the best of its external surroundings not only to continue to exist but more so to retain the particular feature which makes living beings stand apart: the need to stretch out. In this way, the naked body, the partially-shown model is depicted in an encounter with space. The hardness of the location seems to contrast with the softness of the body, an initial hostility that marks the start of an intense conflict. This silent dance demonstrates the body’s difficulty in facing up to the rigidity of the architecture as well as the resistance which the location must demonstrate in order not to be engulfed. So, the need to conserve its nature reflects a common essence between the elements of the photograph.

More specifically, the balance of frontal and raw power is redressed, the location opens out and the body undergoes metamorphosis: the elements finally meet. Each one holds onto its nature while retaining that of the other. The body unfolds in a delicate pose, the location establishes its robust presence; the complementary nature explodes at the sight, as the bodies, both nude and architectural, interact, demonstrating their interdependency. Framed, cropped, the photograph captures the instant when the bodies intertwine. The moment when the location protects and crushes simultaneously, when the body embraces the cold walls yet shivers against them.

The frame reveals the interplay of photography, and by establishing the new balance, we grant the act the wish to establish a new order of things. However, at the same time, the image is allowed to express itself independently as an existing object. Look at the image in which the idea the artist wished to convey is revealed, as much as everything which has evaded them. Specifically, if an idea only comes when it wishes to and not when I want it to, photography makes sense when it calls to me and not when I want it. The image therefore comes when it wishes to reveal itself.

This photographic work would be a reconfiguration of reality, a new level of perception. Not that the image is becoming an alternative reality, but actually an offshoot of reality, a support which allows us to understand our surroundings. Through these photographs, the art of nuance is conveyed; the idea that a truth is enriched or diluted and the helpless expression of photography only come to life when it escapes from the photographer.

My response to the question of whether these elements can be harmonized would be that the only way they can exist together is through fusion. The limitations have been reformulated and have softened. The metamorphosis of the location and the body, the distortion that these elements have undergone allow not only the expression of a shade of reality but also the possibility of escaping prejudices. In this way, the photograph makes one forget the absent body, the broken walls and depicts the possibility that one thing must oppose another, to be attracted to it and to complete it. And so, this tangle of relationships appears as an image seemingly so distant and yet so close to reality.

Aurélia Senet, New York, July 2012