excerpt from interview
LC: What does "The Form" mean?
EA: In martial arts, the form designates a sequence of techniques performed in a vacuum, a series of gestures that reproduce a predetermined fighting pattern. This sequence of gestures can be executed extremely slowly as well as very quickly. It is easy to draw a parallel with my way of working, both slow and fast, a real choreography with 2 speeds. The form.
The form is also this sphere which returns in several of my series, it was discrete and dark then in Useful Lies it is a white sphere representing optimism and hope.
In The Form, this circle of image printed on the wet collodion emulsion is all that remains of an approach where the subject, the model disappears to let the essence of photography, the light and the optics appear. In this total bareness appears the sun, the moon, a star, a planet, impossible not to notice. When I showed the first images of this series, I was quoted all kinds of stars.
LC: Is it that when you release the photograph of any subject, there remains only the main source of light, the one that makes us see?
EA: The almighty sun, source of heat, light and life appears logically in what looks like an ultimate photograph.
The atmosphere, the clouds, the ground or the oceans receive the sunlight. They reflect a part of this light in all directions, they only diffuse the light. Everything in the solar system is illuminated by the sun. Without the sun, there is no light, no life, and clearly no photography.
LC: What part does the process play in this series?
EA: The process and the material have for once the best part.
On the glass plate only the process and the optics draw and form these spheres.
With wet collodion, the first thing that appears on the glass is a circle of yellow liquid in the center of a glass plate, then it expands to become square or rectangular. But the circle is always there. I think I only want it. Everything is an obsession in my work. The circle is everywhere in nature, it is the source and the outcome. I've been trying to show what is simplest for a while and here I just went a little further.
A friend of mine cleverly told me that my approach, by stripping the image of a subject, by capturing only the trace of a natural element, the light, is a naturalism pushed to its paroxysm and seems to me to be a posture that counters the fetishization of the representation
LC: Chase the real and it comes back at a gallop, in its strongest form...
EA: Without this circle, it is total darkness.
I have the impression that each artist makes his career evolve at a speed, more or less fast while pushing back this moment or he will let himself go to the temptation of the absolute abstraction. The white sheet of paper, the black canvas, the piece of transparent glass. The attraction of no longer representing reality becomes too strong, a kind of artistic finality.
For the moment the circle is still there, more present than ever, as a demonstration that my detractors were right, this process is enough for itself, no need to have a model, to represent nature, the real. My room facing a clear background offers me a multitude of images that I discover myself. For a moment, I am no longer a creator, I give up in the face of the strength of my medium. Master of ceremony, it is restful.
La forme I, II and III, n° 1/1 (2022) - ambrotype - (3x) 40 x 40 cm
Useful Lies I, n° 1/1 (2018)
Useful Lies X, n° 1/1 (2021)
Opening hours of the exhibition: