mercredi 23 octobre 2013

Dorianne Wotton et Insousciance. Une exposition : NOIR






Pas de femmes fatales.
Des papillons naphtalènes,
Des mantes religieuses,
Des solitaires à la Woolf qui se livrent et se délivrent, se battent et se débattent,
Dans l'in-sollicitude, dans les phares dans la nuit.

L'indécence n'est pas dans la nudité ; elle suinte dans la lumière crue qui saisit, révèle et accuse.
Pas le modèle, non. Nous, notre regard, notre indiscrétion.
Dorianne Wotton et Insousciance entrouvent la porte de chambres capitonnées, où leurs modèles posent et reposent, s'opposent sans jamais s'adonner à nos jeux.
Elles dictent, hypnotiques et hurlantes, leur rage et leur fragilité.
Éblouissantes et sombres.

Texte d'Oriane G.

Une exposition à ne pas manquer !

mardi 17 septembre 2013

APOCALYPSE COW / Michael Logan



Ça commence avec une vache qui ne veut décidément pas mourir. 
Puis ça devient une épidémie qui transforme le bétail de Grande-Bretagne en une horde de zombies à quatre pattes, éternuant, salivant, et affamés de chair. 
Et si ce n'était pas suffisant, le destin de la nation semble reposer sur les épaules de trois héros improbables : un employé d'abattoir dont la vie amoureuse est inexistante grâce à l'odeur de mort qui lui colle à la peau, un adolescent végétarien souffrant d'eczéma et d'un drôle de petit faible pour sa professeure de maths, et une journaliste inepte qui ne reconnaîtrait pas un scoop même si elle trébuchait dessus.
Tandis que le pays sombre dans le chaos, peuvent-ils réunir leurs ressources, libérer un vaccin 
et sauver le monde ?
Trois loosers. Des probabilités innombrables. Une seule issue.
Ouais, on est déjà accros.

Pour son premier roman Apocalypse Cow, Michael Logan a reçu le prix Terry Pratchett "Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now".
Après avoir rédigé des milliers d'articles pour The Sunday Herald, The Budapest Times,Woman, Travel Mag (et j'en passe), ce journaliste est aujourd'hui basé à Nairobi, Kenya.

Il a gentiment accepté mon interview.
La voici donc pour vous.
Attention, peinture fraîche !


Comment vous est venue l’idée d’écrire un roman, certes sur les zombies, mais surtout sur des vaches zombies ?  Est-ce à cause des nombreux scandales de la viande ?

En fait, j’ai commencé la rédaction de ce roman en 2006, comme une sorte d’exercice. L’écriture a toujours été pour moi un échappatoire. Je ne trouve rien de plus satisfaisant que d’inventer des personnes et des univers, et mes personnages sont pour moi des gens réels. Auparavant, je m’étais concentré sur des nouvelles, pour une quantité de raisons avec lesquelles je ne vais pas vous ennuyer, mais un jour j’ai su qu’il était temps que je passe au format du roman.  Si j’ai choisi le thème des vaches zombies, c’est surtout parce que je suis un fan du genre zombies, et que je voulais en faire quelque chose de différent.
Je voulais aussi rompre avec le sérieux qui a toujours caractérisé mes écrits.
Mais j’ai aussi été influencé par  le fait que, virtuellement, chaque pandémie que l’on nous a annoncé aurait dû éradiquer la race humaine, en commençant par celle provenant du bétail : le SRAS, la grippe aviaire, etc. Et bien entendu, la vache folle. J’ai juste poussé le scénario à l’extrême.

Un de vos personnages, Gedolf, est végétarien. Pourquoi inclure une telle personne et la rendre encore plus décalée par un tel contexte ? Est-ce une manière de critiquer les hippies malheureusement démodés, ou plutôt d’établir un contraste avec les cauchemardesques vaches carnivores ?

Etant donné que ce livre traite en grande partie de notre attitude envers les animaux et la viande, il m’apparaissait essentiel d’avoir une famille végétarienne pour contrecarrer les points de vue des carnivores, et ainsi présenter les nombreux arguments que les deux clans s’échangent généralement. Cela me permettait de renforcer l’angle de la « revanche des animaux » et me donnait une occasion de pointer du doigt le fait que, tandis que beaucoup de gens se sentent concernés par les animaux, ce sentiment n’en est pas pour autant réciproque. Je n’ai certainement pas eu l’intention de critiquer les hippies, même s’ils ne sont plus d’actualité. Je me sens bien plus proche dans ce livre de ces environnementalistes hippies que des mangeurs de viande.



Lesley, la journaliste ratée, est-elle un témoignage de ce que vous auriez pu rencontrer lors de votre carrière dans la presse ? Représente-t-elle une course effrénée et incompétente aux nouvelles, et donc une distance fatale entre l’information et la réalité ?

Je n’ai jamais rencontré de journaliste aussi naze que Leslie, bien que certains n’en étaient pas loin. Leslie est d’avantage une critique de notre obligation actuelle de réussite. On nous dit de « réaliser nos rêves », mais la triste vérité est que beaucoup d’entre nous ne sommes absolument pas faits pour le travail de nos rêves. Leslie est une de ces personnes. Je crois vraiment que la presse a des problèmes, particulièrement quand les journalistes sont obligés de couvrir l’histoire que le rédacteur en chef veut publier, au lieu d’une autre qui devrait être racontée. Mais, de manière générale, je ne dirais pas que cette branche de métier est incompétente.

De même, votre roman semble être une critique implacable des gouvernements et des armées. Quelles que soient les limites imposées, les fragilités humaines saboteront toujours la discipline…

Les gens au pouvoir font tout ce qu’ils peuvent pour y rester, et c’est exactement la première réaction du gouvernement dans mon livre : Au lieu de résoudre les problèmes, ils préfèrent cacher leur implication. Leur réaction est assez caractéristique, et elle vaut définitivement la peine d’être critiquée. Et pour en revenir à « la vache folle », je me souviens très bien d’un ministre anglais qui avait forcé ses enfants à manger des hamburgers devant les caméras, pour prouver que le bœuf était sain. C’est exactement cette situation dont j’ai voulu faire une satyre.



Ce qui est frappant dans votre roman, c’est que la plupart de vos personnages ont des choses à cacher, pour ne pas dire une double-vie entre leur moi intime et l’image qu’ils souhaitent donner. N’est-ce pas là une vision assez pessimiste de la race humaine ?

C’est une question intéressante. Qui sommes-nous vraiment ? La personne que nous pensons être  celle que nous voulons être, ou encore celle que nos actions représentent ? Je crois que tous autant que nous sommes avons une image idéalisée de nous-mêmes et de ce dont nous sommes capables, et que nous passons notre vie à nous évertuer à réduire la distance entre perception et réalité. Je ne trouve pas cela pessimiste. Cela montre que tout le monde cherche à s’améliorer.

De plus, les personnages les plus repoussants, incarnés par les troupeaux contaminés, sont justement les plus innocents de l’histoire. On en vient même à les prendre d’avantage en pitié que les autres personnages !

C’est exactement ça. Dès le début, dans les scènes à l’abattoir, j’ai tenu à établir très clairement l’innocence des animaux, malgré le carnage qu’ils causent. Ils n’ont pas les facultés intellectuelles pour pouvoir choisir comment se comporter. Ils ne font que suivre leur instinct. En revanche, les humains ont la possibilité de contrôler leur natures bestiales. Un vrai « méchant » est quelqu’un ou quelque chose qui préfère la voie du mal et qui est conscient des conséquences de ses actions. Par contre, si un tigre arrache une tête, il n’y a là rien de personnel.



Il y a également deux frères dont le père est violent et intolérant. Pourquoi, dans le même temps, les faire aimer par une mère et épouse adorable ?

Ce n’est pas parce que vos enfants sont des petits monstres que vous arrêtez de les aimer. Malgré tous leurs défauts, les jumeaux restent des petits garçons. Ce serait exceptionnel qu’une mère déteste ses enfants s’ils sont turbulents ou brutaux. Quant au père intolérant, je ne pense pas que son épouse l’aime. C’est une de ces situations où votre partenaire fait partie intégrante de la vie que vous avez construite, et où il est plus facile de faire avec que de le quitter.

Comment avez-vous réussi à rendre une histoire sordide en un roman hilarant ? Pourquoi adopter cette approche ?

Toute situation prête à l’humour, même si elle est des plus sinistres.  Combien de fois rit-on de situations horribles ? Néanmoins, j’ai fait très attention à ne pas plaisanter avec la mort. L’humour dans le livre tient aux choses ridicules que les personnages font lorsqu’ils sont face à une situation insensée. Cette approche est juste celle dont j’avais besoin à l’époque. J’ai toujours été une écrivain très sérieux, et je voulais m’essayer à quelque chose d’absurde. Peu d’auteurs osent l’humour, et je comprends pourquoi. C’est une notion tellement personnelle qu’un écrivain qui le tente sait que beaucoup de lecteurs n’accrocheront pas. Pas mal de gens se sont efforcés à trouver ce qu’il y a de marrant dans mon livre, alors que d’autres l’ont trouvé hilarant. Pour un auteur, écrire une comédie est une aventure dangereuse. Je trouve ça dommage qu’il n’y ait pas plus d’humour en littérature. Combien de romans étroits d’esprit refléteraient plus justement l’expérience humaine si leurs personnages se moquaient ici et là du monde qui les entoure !

La fin du roman laisse une porte ouverte. Cela signifie-t-il que vous songez à écrire un second épisode ?

En effet, il y a une suite qui en est pour l’heure à sa troisième ébauche et qui sera terminée d’ici quelques mois. Je voulais étudier le comportement des gens, le choix (que les animaux n’ont pas) qu’ils ont d’ignorer ou de céder au côté bestial qui émane directement de notre cerveau. Dans le second épisode, il y aura des gens qui contiennent leurs appétits, et d’autres qui utiliseront le virus comme une excuse pour s’autoriser les fantasmes les plus sombres.

Êtes-vous, vous-même, un fan de zombies ? Par exemple, suivez-vous la fameuse série Walking Dead ? Quel serait votre film ou roman préféré de ce genre ?

Cela fait des années que je suis fan des zombies, en fait depuis que j’ai vu pour la première fois Dawn of the Dead de Romero, dans les années 80. Il reste encore mon film culte. Le seul livre de zombies que j’ai lu est World War Z, que j’ai beaucoup aimé. Quant à Walking Dead, je ne peux pas dire qu’il m’a transporté comme il a transporté leurs millions de fans. Je suspecte que c’est dû au fait que j’ai vu tellement de films de zombies que je ne vois rien de particulier dans celui-là.



Vous avez donc écrit des nouvelles. De quels thèmes parlaient-elles ? Avaient-elles la même portée humoristique ?

Comme je l’ai dit plus haut, mes nouvelles étaient très sérieuses et littéraires, à l’exception d’une au sujet d’un homme qui est un échec dans la vie, et qui le reste lorsqu’il devient zombie.
Elles étaient centrées sur des rencontres fortuites entre des étrangers, lors desquelles un des personnages, ou les deux, apprend une dure vérité sur lui-même. La plupart d’entre nous vivons dans le confort, entourés d’une famille et d’amis qui ne nous rendent pas capables ou ne nous encouragent pas à l’auto-analyse. Parfois, il n’y a que les étrangers qui puissent nous ouvrir les yeux.

Est-ce que Nairobi, là où vous avez élu résidence, une influence pour vous ?

Cela m’a pris un certain temps pour écrire quoi que ce soit qui se déroule au Kenya. J’ai besoin de temps pour m’habituer à un endroit et le comprendre, pour ensuite seulement écrire à son sujet. Il y a une nouvelle que j’ai rédigée qui est basé sur Nairobi  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/9535885/Hay-Festival-Nairobi-A-story-by-Michael-Logan.html), et il y aura une scène dans la suite d’Apocalypse Cow qui se déroule dans cette ville.
J’ai également des projets futurs qui seront en relation, donc oui, c’est une influence grandissante.

* * *


It began with a cow that just wouldn't die. It would become an epidemic that transformed Britain's livestock into sneezing, slavering-craving four-legged zombies. And if that wasn't bad enough, the fate of the nation seems to rest on the shoulders of three unlikely heroes: an abattoir worker whose love life is non-existent thnax to the stench of death that clings to him, a teenage vegan with eczema and a weird crush on his maths teacher, and an inept jurnalist who wouldn't recognise a scoop if she tripped over one. As the nation descends into chaos, can they pool their resources, unlock a cure, and save the world? Three losers. Overwhelming odds. One outcome... Yup, we're screwed.

With his first novel Apocalypse Cow, Michael Logan was the joint winner of the Terry Pratchett "Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now" prize.
After writing thousands of articles for The Sunday Herald, The Budapest Times,Woman, Travel Mag (and lots more), this journalist now lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

He so kindly accepted my interviewing him.
There it is.
Caution, wet paint!


How come you first thought about writing a novel, indeed about zombies, but most of all about zombie cows? Was it influenced by the many meat scandals?

I started this novel back in 2006 as something of a writing exercise. I had always loved the escape of writing. There is nothing more satisfying for me than creating new people and new worlds, and my characters feel like real people to me. I had focused on short stories before, for a variety of reasons I won’t bore you with, but I knew it was time to move into the novel form. I choose zombie cows largely because I was a fan of the zombie genre and wanted to do something different. I also wanted to break away from the seriousness that had always characterized my writing. A large part of the influence came from the fact that virtually every global pandemic we were promised would wipe out humanity started with animals: SARS, bird flu, etc. And of course, there was Mad Cow disease. I just took this to extremes.

One of your characters, Gedolf, is a vegetarian, like his parents. Why did you choose to include this person and have it made all the more so awkward by such a context? Is it a way to criticize unfortunately out-of-date hippies or rather a way to contrast with the carnivorous nightmarish cows?

As this book was in many ways about our attitudes to animals and meat, I felt it essential to have a vegan family to butt heads with their carnivorous neighbours and thus present a lot of the arguments you hear between such characters. This provided a stronger ‘revenge of the animals’ angle and also gave me the opportunity to highlight that while many people may care strongly about animals, the feeling is on the whole not reciprocated. I certainly didn’t set out to criticize out-of-date hippies. I am far closer to the hippy environmentalist in the book than the meat-eaters.



Is Lesley, a failure of a journalist, a testimony of what you might have experienced during your career? Does she represent an insane, hence incompetent, race for news, a fatal distance between information and reality?

I have never met a journalist quite as rotten as Lesley, although some of them weren’t far off. Lesley is more a commentary on the way, in this day and age, we all feel entitled to succeed. We are all told to ‘follow our dreams’, but the sad truth is many of us are eminently ill-suited to our dream jobs. Lesley is one of these people. I do think journalism has its problems, particularly when journalists are forced to pursue the story an editor wants rather than the story that needs to be told, but on the whole I wouldn’t say the industry is incompetent.

Likewise, your novel seems an implacable criticism of governments and armies... Whatever the boundaries, human frailties will sabotage discipline...

People in power do what they have to do to stay in power, and this is the first reaction of the government in my story: they look to hide their involvement rather than sort the problem out. That is a pretty typical response, and is definitely something worth criticizing. And going back to Mad Cow disease, I strongly recalled a UK Minister force-feeding his children burgers on television to prove that beef was safe, so I wanted to satirize that specifically.



What is striking about your novel is the fact that most of your characters have things to hide, not to say a double life, between their inner self and the image they (want to) convey. Isn't that a quite pessimistic vision of humanity?

This is an interesting question. Who are we truly: the person we think we are or want to be or the person our actions makes us? I think all of us have an idealistic picture of ourselves and what we are capable of, and most of spend our whole lives striving to close this gap between perception and reality. I don’t think it is pessimistic at all. It shows that everybody is looking to better themselves.

Moreover, the most repulsive characters, incarnated by the contaminated herds, also seem to be the most innocent ones, the ones we even come to pity more than we pity the characters!

Well, this is it. From early on, with the scenes in the abattoir, I wanted to make it very clear that animals are the innocents in this despite the carnage they cause. They don’t have the critical faculties to choose how they behave; they always follow their instincts. Humans, however, can choose to override their bestial natures. A truly scary baddy is somebody (or something) who chooses to be evil and is aware of the consequences of his or her actions. If a tiger bites somebody’s head off, there’s nothing personal in it.



There are also two brothers with their violent and intolerant father. Why have them being expressively loved by an adorable mother and spouse?

You don’t stop loving your children just because they can be little monsters. The twins, for all their faults, are just little boys. It’s a rare mother who would hate her children for being rambunctious or bullying. As for the intolerant father, I wouldn’t say she loved him. It’s one of those situations where your partners is such an integral part of the life you have built that it’s easier to put up with such behaviour than walk away.

How did you manage to turn this ultimately sordid story into a hilarious novel? Why adopt this approach?

There is humour in any situation, no matter how grim. Think of how often people laugh and joke as a way of dealing with horrifying situations. I was very careful not to laugh at death, however. The humour in the book comes from the ridiculous things the characters do when thrown into these insane situations. I took this approach simply because it was what I needed at the time. I had always been a very serious writer, and I wanted to have a crack at something absurd. Not enough writers try their hands at humour, and I can understand why. A sense of humour is such a personal thing that any author who tries to write funny knows that it is going to fall flat for a lot of readers. Quite a few people have struggled to see what is funny in my book; others have found it hilarious. This makes writing comedy a dangerous proposition for a writer. I think it’s a shame that we don’t have more humour in books. So many po-faced novels would more accurately reflect the human experience if they had their characters laugh at the world every now and then.

You chose to give to your novel a to-be-continued ending. Does it mean you're thinking about writing a second episode?

I am writing a follow-up, which is now in its third draft and will be done in a few months. I wanted to explore the idea of how people have the choice (that animals don’t) of ignoring or giving in to the bestial urges emanating from the primal chunks of our brain. So, in the follow-up we have people struggling to contain their appetites, and others using the virus as an excuse to indulge their darkest fantasies.

Are you yourself a zombie fan? By example, are you following the trendy Walking Dead series? What would you be your favourite movie or novel in this genre?

I have been a zombie fan for many years, dating back to the first time I saw Romero’s Dawn of the Dead in the early 1980s. This is still my favourite film. The only zombie book I’ve read is World War Z, which I very much enjoyed. As for the Walking Dead, I can’t say it has engaged me in the same way as it has millions of people. I suspect this is because I have seen so many zombie movies that I just don’t see anything particularly new in it.



You also wrote novellas. What themes do they deal with? Do they hold the same humorous content? 

As I mentioned above, my short stories were very serious and very literary—with the exception of one about man who, failure in life, became a failure as a zombie as well. Most of them centred on chance encounters between strangers, in which one or both learned hard truths about themselves. Most of live in our comfort zones, surrounded by family and friends who don’t encourage or enable self examination. Sometimes it takes a stranger to open our eyes.

Is Nairobi, the city you're living in, an influence?

It has taken me a while to start writing anything set in Kenya, as I like to take the time to get used to a place and understand it better before I start to write about it. I’ve written one short story based around Nairobi (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/9535885/Hay-Festival-Nairobi-A-story-by-Michael-Logan.html), and there is a scene in the Apocalypse Cow follow-up that’s set in the city. I also have plans for further work set here, so it is a growing influence.

vendredi 6 septembre 2013

Le Maxi Monster Music Show



Je me suis imaginé pénétrer dans l'enceinte du théâtre par une porte grinçante, descendre l'allée en rayant de mes talons bobine la moquette déjà usée, avant de me lover dans un siège poussiéreux et bancal de velours rouge. Mon jupon aurait été tellement volumineux que j'aurais dû l'aplatir de mes mains mitainées.
Ils auraient été là avant l'ouverture du spectacle, enfermés dans quatre étranges cadres installés autour de la scène, où des des images auraient défilé. Je les aurais vus, les Maxi Monsters, y faire de la boxe, du ski, du patin à roulettes, le tout sur fond de leurs mélodies grésillantes et rouillées. Ils auraient été guignolesques, commedia dell'arte-esques !
Et parce que nul rideau ne serait baissé et que, sur scène, un néon défectueux aurait clignoté tant bien que mal sur l'étendard de leur troupe, les attendre aurait été délicieux et prometteur.
Pendant les dernières minutes, j'aurais agité mon éventail en soupirant d'aise en repensant aux si nombreux crottins de cheval à l'entrée.

J'aurais adoré la représentation, j'aurais chanté avec eux, même, ce à quoi je ne me laisse d'ordinaire pas aller ! Vous pensez bien !
Vous me demandez pourquoi, ma bonne dame ?! Quel affront que votre scepticisme ! Diantre ! Il suffira ! Vous n'avez qu'à savoir que la poupée barbue saurait railler de la voix comme nul autre coffre ; un titi mal parti dans la vie qui aurait néanmoins son honneur, ses humeurs et sa gouaille ! Et qui aurait rythmé le spectacle en nous parlant d'atmosphère, d'atmosphère ! sans que je voie le temps passer.
Que chaque personnage, tout à la fois musicien, aurait fait son numéro en aparté, vaqué à ses occupations dans la pénombre, tandis que se jouerait l'action sous les feux de la rampe. 
La femme-tronc, la danseuse macabre, l'homme fort, l'homme-femme, l'ange noir et le fakir mystique auraient été une foire tantôt attendrissante tantôt cocasse, hors du temps et moderne. Oui, ma mie, môôdeeerne ! Fi, faudrait tout bonnement que vous puissiez écouter les paroles et que vous sortiez le dimanche !
Z'allez pas non plus me demander de tout vous raconter en détail ?! Z'avez qu'à bouger votre faux-cul de là, héler la première calèche et vous y rendre fissa ! Vous allez rire au point de vous en faire sauter quelques boutons ! D'ailleurs, vous n'auriez pas pris un peu de la silhouette, vous... ?

video


video

Maxi Monster Music Show
"Soir d'amour à Monte-Carlo" (mis en scène par Juliette)
Spectacle interdit depuis 1885
Prolongations jusqu'au 28 septembre
Théâtre de l'Alhambra.
26, rue Yves Toudic Paris 10 (M° République)
http://www.alhambra-paris.com/fiche.php?id=540

mercredi 4 septembre 2013

Réserve d'interviews

Les vacances sont terminées et je reviens avec deux interviews en attente de publication.
- Michael Logan, pour son premier roman Apocalypse Cow (qui a reçu le prix Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel).
- Virginie Ropars, sculpteuse de renom, gagnante 2 années consécutives du Golden Spectrum Award (le Silver il y a 4 ans).

Si vous êtes un magazine et que vous souhaitez en savoir plus en vue de me publier, contactez-moi à oriane_g@yahoo.fr





Sneedronningen, the Snow Queen, one of a kind, 77cm

* * *

Holidays are over and I'm back with two interviews in store and waiting to be published.
- Michael Logan, for his first novel Apocalypse Cow (which was the winner of Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Award).
- Virginie Ropars, a renowned sculptor who won the Golden Spectrum Award for two years in a row (and the Silver one 4 years ago).

If you're a magazine and wish to know more in order to publish me, please feel free to contact me at oriane_g@yahoo.fr

mardi 4 juin 2013

MÉCANHUMANIMAL / ENKI BILAL



video


Hier soir, j'ai eu le privilège de me rendre au vernissage de l'exposition MÉCANHUMANIMAL d'Enki Bilal, au musée des Arts et Métiers. Exposition qui débute ce jour et se terminera le 5 janvier 2014.
L'artiste était présent, accessible. Tchéky Karyo était là, lui aussi, superbe dandy.

Les planches originales des bandes-dessinées (issues de La Trilogie Nikopol et de La Tétralogie du Monstre), alternent avec des machines sorties tout droit des réserves du musée, et sélectionnées par Bilal lui-même. Parce que leur technologie est dépassée, vétuste, presque rouillée ; et qu'elle répond aux personnages de Bilal, en fusion avec la Machine. Il n'y à qu'à voir l'affiche de l'exposition pour comprendre que les êtres du futur feront corps avec le métal, qu'ils seront un race de mutants, de cyborgs. Et qu'ils useront des techniques pour voyager, non plus dans l'espace, mais dans le temps.



De très bons descriptifs accompagnent les instruments du passé et à l'utilisation détournée. Comme cet émanateur de radium, véritable fontaine de Jouvence, à boire ou à s'irradier ! Comme ce téléimprimeur qui sert à envoyer des dépêches de 2025 au journal Libération de 1993 ! Ou encore cette véritable nacelle de ballon stratosphérique qui sert à un professeur pour s'envoler dans l'espace !
Réalité et fantasme se fondent, la technologie sert à la perfection l'imaginaire de Bilal.

La toute première salle, ainsi qu'une seconde dans le parcours, nous plongent dans une lumière noire et une ambiance sonore signée Goran Vejvoda (le compositeur de la bande-son d'Immortelle), où projections et 3D sont à couper le souffle.
Tantôt un homme nu vêtu d'un seul chapeau avance en symbiose avec un félin.



Tantôt c'est la galaxie qui tournoie vertigineusement et dans laquelle s'immiscent vaporeusement des visages Bilaliens.
Tantôt c'est l'image d'un homme en apesanteur qui est projeté en parallèle et au-dessus d'un turboréacteur, que notre cerveau analyse comme une possible capsule d'hibernation.



Enfin, dans un renfoncement de couloir, une autre projection enchaîne les portraits dans un kaléidoscope de couleurs, de scènes, de vies. Un éventail hypnotique, des possibles à l'infini.



Quant à elles, les planches de bande-dessinées _ une centaine _ donnent toute la dimension du talent de Bilal. Celles qui d'ordinaire sont écrasées et réduites lors de l'impression des livres explosent ici sur nos rétines. Les reliefs sont d'authentiques trompe-l'œil, les couleurs d'une intelligence rare, entre giclées et délavement. Chaque case est à elle-seule une œuvre d'art. Bilal dicte le regard, poignarde ou caresse. Sa maîtrise, son humilité et son humour offrent des tranches de vie, des fantasmes, des projections dont on ne veut pas se défaire.



Mon seul vœu en ressortant de cette brèche espace-temps : Enki Bilal, réalise Blade Runner en animation, et je pourrai mourir heureuse !

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Yesterday evening, I had the privilege to attend the opening party of the exhibition MÉCANHUMANIMAL by Enki Bilal, at the musée des Arts et Métiers. The exhibition has started today and will be over on the 5th of January 2014. The artist was there, accessible. So was Tchéky Karyo, absolute dandy.

The original drawings (from The Nikopol Trilogy and The Monster Tetralogy) alternate with machines that have been picked up by Bilal himself from the stocks of the museum. Because their technology is outdated, antiquate, almost rusted; and because they meet the characters by Bilal, who merge with the machines. It takes a single glance to the official poster to understand that future beings will be as one with metal, that they will be a mutant race, one of cyborgs. And that technology will help them travel, not in space anymore, but through time.





Precise descriptions come with these instruments from the past, whose use is clearly hijacked. Like this radium emanator, real fountain of youth, to be drinked or irradiated from! Like this teleprinter that enables you to send press dispatches from 2025 to the 1993 Libération newspaper! Or again like this genuine stratospheric balloon basket, which helps a professor to fly into space!

Reality and fantasy melt. Technology perfectly serves Bilal's imagination.

The very first room, as a second one in the itinerary, have us engulfed in dark light with a sound ambiance from Goran Vejvoda (the composer of the soundtrack Immortelle), where projections and 3D are breathtaking. 

Sometimes that's a naked man with a hat walking as one with a feline.




Sometimes that's a twirling and vertiginous galaxy inside which faces vaporously appear.

Sometimes that's a weightless man floating above a turbojet, which our brains analyse as a possible hibernation capsule. 




At last, in a hall recess, an other projection goes from portrait to portrait in a kaleidoscope of colours, scenes and lives. A hypnotic range of hypnotic possibilities.





As for the original drawing boards _ a hundred _, they emphasize Bilal's amazing talent. The same ones that keep being flattened and reduced when printed now smash our retinas. The relief IS real trompe-l'œil, colours are of a rare intelligence, between squirting and fading. Every single vignette a work of art in itself. Bilal dictates gaze, he stabs and caresses. His mastering, his humility and his humour offer slices of life, fantasies and projections that we can't decide to dismiss.





My one and only wish as I leave the exhibition:  Enki Bilal, direct an animation version of Blade Runner, and I can die happy!

mercredi 29 mai 2013

Darren Holmes, l’étoffe d'un photographe

Mon interview de Darren Holmes, photographe canadien de talent, a été publiée sur le webzine Les Editions du Faune. Je vous invite donc à aller la lire sur place :

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My interview of Darren Holmes, a talented Canadian photographer, has been published on the online magazine Les Editions du Faune. 
As far as the English version is concerned, it can be found below.


Darren Holmes, the punk tailor of photography.


Like a Pandora’s box, his intimate and exhibitionist boudoirs release disturbed and disturbing, graceful and clumsy characters. Their insolence and vitality dance to the rhythm of psychological improvisations. A magnified glass that never lies and that gets us addicted to the recklessness of humans. Photography meets painting, with grandeur, humour and power.

Aina and Ameliana

Before starting photography, you were a painter and a drawer. What was missing then that pushed you toward photography? At the same time, how were these disciplines helpful in photography?
I grew up thinking I’d be some visual artist.  I was never high technique, very undisciplined.  I never took the time to develop it. Cross-hatched pen and ink drawings like mad.  I think what pulled me toward photography was...maybe, the ability to create images without having to look through whatever sort of colouring that you get from....mechanics, like drawing style or whatever.  There were things I could see in my mind that I couldn’t draw, and even as a kid it always seemed to be a more interesting challenge to manipulate people or objects to create some scene for a camera.

How do you proceed? Is it first an idea that makes you seek a specific model? Or does it also happen that an inspiring model should activate your artistic process ?
I used to work in the moment without any agenda to start…that was early on.  That's just reaction isn't it?  There's no thinking there.  Over time I then began developing the subject I wanted to create then find people who could potentially fill the roles.  I’m more relaxed these days.  I work with my repetitive general notions, which are like world views or attitudes and then leave room for the energy, the kind of presence someone is.  It’s always a cooperative effort, like learning to dance with someone and the push and pull of that.  

Dancing on Tombstones

You seem to have a liking to natural light. What is there in it more than a studio shooting ?
Yeah, I have a weird thing with flash, I use it all the time now but these big window boxes that don't impose.  Artificial light is like lightning, sometimes I think of it that way.  You're lucky when it starts a fire nearby and you can work with it.  Natural light has always said to me “this is a real moment”…even if it’s staged it’s with the feeling of a real time and place.  It can say “we were just here, doing this thing.  And then it looked like an interesting story so I picked up the camera”.  When it came to using flash I needed it to feel like that.

What part does editing take in your work ?
I don't feel any attachment to what the camera sees as something “real” it's kind of a raw material for me.  Of course the story has to be in the image.  I see work where the story is actually the editing, that seems backwards to me.  You're supposed to be seduced into believing someone's truth, not marvelling at the trick...at least for me anyway.  The images need to have a familiarity, like a real space to them.  Maybe like a shot of a theatrical production in progress, in front of you.  

Farrah's Bones

In some of your shots, the colours and the contrast are very sharp, while in some others the treatment is tone on tone, even at the limits of desaturation. How does your choice work?
I used to have more variety but I started to feel as if they were just aesthetic self-conscious choices.  I don't want people to see the photograph, I want them to see the scene and kind of ignore the photograph, if that makes any sense.  I like the idea now of these images being little dioramas that you carry around with you, maybe it's a box with miniature people in it, sleeping.  And you pull it out and turn on the light and they wake up and get into position, just for you.   A photographer friend just mentioned to me that they loved the skin, loved the emotion of the work…so maybe that says something about all of this.

Some persons may feel uncomfortable when facing some of your photographies (I'm thinking about Cherlyn Jeff Zephraim). The erotic patent of your characters happens to be odd, even disturbing. Why choose this two-level reading ? What would be your answer to them?
Eroticism is a whole brain thing, it doesn't live in our crotches...we screw that up all the time I guess because our release valve is there.  It’s not an appreciation of beauty really…it’s an appreciation of some scene as a whole entity, what someone says or doesn’t say, how people carry themselves.  Hey, someone who is...maybe brash and aggressive and powerful and expressive is more 'erotic' than someone in some languid self-conscious pose.  We should let everything open that channel.  Admire a tree but also admire the bed of millenia of living things that lived and died to put it there.  When you admire beauty you admire that soil. They need each other.  It's not a morbid thing for me, just a plain truth.

Cherlyn Jeff Zephraim

In recent photographies of yours underlies a critic of society and religion (I'm thinking about A Fairy Presidential Portrait or Theologian, Skin and Bones). You tackle these topics with humour, could you tell us why?
Theologian, Skin and Bones was a portrait of an actual student of theology.  We had a great conversation about his studies and it's really not about just accepting what you're told, it's about rolling something around in your mind, questioning it, looking for cracks, debating with yourself.  That isn't what you see in pop religion, which seems to be polarized and this idea of you're either with us or against us.  I've always wanted to be irreverent, tear down your idols kind of thing.  When I used to draw I had an almost manic sense of humour, how can I stick something in here that’s just strange and completely outrageous for the scene?  A lot of that comes into the work, but less like poking a stick now, it’s really guttural for me.  I don't overthink anymore, if I just see myself naked wrapped around a woman’s head then I do that.  There's probably a lot of subconscious quoting or inspiration from just living a life, but it can also be just an interesting idea.  So you can enjoy this at whatever level you wish.

Some years ago, your photography was very close to painting. Today, you add a lucid realism about human nature. Could you tell us how you've come to move towards these more 'instantaneous' scenes?
What a great description, instantaneous.  I think that describes it…I used to be very inspired by certain things, you could say impressionism.  I started to feel like I wanted to get out of the way and stop telling people what to think.  I can see now that I’ve been in a process of getting rid of any style in my work, just trying to let the scene speak for itself.  The photographer shouldn’t be telling the viewer how to interpret the scene, it should just be what it is and you make up your own mind.

                                              Reclining on Ikea Carpet While Chrissy Contemplates Superherodom

You have no will to hide the backstage. Why, for instance, showing the tape or an Ikea carpet? You appear to be set free from any constraint now...
That’s it …there’s no disguising that these scenes are invented reality…if I spent time trying to hide the fact that it’s a stage with wires and other equipment it would be like trying to tell an obvious lie to your face.  I want to give the viewer as much information as possible.  So I’m asking you to witness my actors and the production, and assess it for what it is.  And decide if it says something you are interested in hearing.  

There happens to be a hand or a foot coming in from outside the frame of the picture, as if to play down the importance of the action that is being played or, on the contrary, to reinforce it. Is it humility or a certain sense of humour on your part?
There’s a sense lost in most photography that we are witnessing a point of view…we seem to always forget that.  It's a really long series of choices and yet some people still talk about photography as being able to show reality.  I don't get that.  For me the frame is part of the image and reminds me that just outside of this there are things going on.  You know I could have moved the camera one way or another but this is the choice I made.

Pre-Motherhood Passion Play

This takes me to the originality of your frames. They either overhang, or show the space normally reserved to the photographer, or even remain at ground level. Is it your will to demonstrate that one may easily stumble and fall in a clumsy but graceful moment? Even that one should do so?
I’ve had more stumbles than graceful moments but that’s really what we are, socially kind of awkward, nervous, just wanting to fit in?  Years ago I spent more time making frames perfect, but I love the rough edges.  I think you are onto something, by not pursuing perfection I’m coming to some acceptance.  Just let it be what it is.  I guess most of us are trying to just figure that out.

Some other shots also give us a great feeling of dizziness and depth. I believe you like to play with the viewers' sensations. 
Do you mean images shot from above ?  You can defy gravity, and release yourself from some literal world, just a bit.  Maybe it’s a way to step away from those constraints….

This Is What Artist Statement Are For

You don't make their job easier, do you ?
I don't like to make the subject's job any easier...I'm always asking for sort of the image between the two posed ones.  I don't want you ready, I like unsteadiness, looking uncomfortable or cold or something.  Seeing that on a face is real truth.

Your characters are very contrasted. Strength and frailty, invitation and reserve, provocation and resistance. They either defuse or envenom the scenery. How do you get the models to express that? 
You know it is like a dance, like I mentioned, and usually I just met the person for the first time or maybe I've known them for a long time but not where they're standing in front of the camera and not knowing what to do next. 

The Story of Olex

How much time and confidence does it take?
I never know until I'm with the subject, I don't know what to do either.  So we start this slow thing, circling, building up a conversation, I start to see little jewels like expressions or things they do that really interest me.  It's almost always different than I imagine so I try not to think ahead about working with a subject, it just gets in the way.  I just meet them and then cue the [imaginary] band, and start.

While the poses, the accessories and the costumes refer to classicism, the expressions and the relationship between the characters are more modern. Is this blending of static and dynamics, of narration and concept, a voluntary approach, or doest it rather result from accidents in a shooting?
The things that aren't planned is the good stuff.  I like seeing unconscious mannerisms, you can really build on those things, how someone prefers to stand or relax.  It's something I developed over time, not to hang on to an idea but to work with what's in front of you.

Miss Shaman Cristina

Some of your characters eat their hair, have a foot on their head or throw up leaves and ropes. What is this attraction to incongruousness ? Do you reckon that humans are moving and captivating only when exposing their flaws? A little bit like broken dolls or injured animals?
I'd be interested to know what you remember of our shooting in Paris years ago and that approach.  I'm obsessed with some images, having to do with insides coming out, outsides going in, voluntary restriction, pain, ecstasy, not talking but just...channelling something.  We're only honest when we're in some explosion or crisis aren't we?  Isn't that when we really know ourselves?  The rest is just performance.  I've heard myself at functions laying out words in sentence form, slowly and carefully so others will understand, when all I think is, somebody's got to be fucking honest in this room!  Why are we not saying what matters?

You seem more provocative and playful than before. Why this apparent casualness? Have you gotten tired of academicism?
I didn't realize it but that could be a good way to describe what I was doing.  I would love to peel off people's intellectual, civilized layers and see them as the grunting beasts they are, spewing every dirty or aggressive little thought in their brains. If there was a drug that could induce Tourette's for a while I'd be the first to try it.  I understand that civilization needs more than that to function.  But we need the people who abandon it as well, to see the things we don't see anymore because we're all too important and grown-up for these silly games.

Theologian, Skin and Bone

Apart from that, you've been invited to speak at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, also at Kiev and Moscow. What was it all about ?
[Darren's wife] Chantal and I were invited over to Kiev and Moscow to speak, exhibit my work and to write a story for Photo Masterskaya which is a Russian photography magazine.  Statues of Lenin everywhere, it reminded me that there's a different story that people are raised with there, alternative points of view.  They have a thousand years of Russia, Lenin, the revolution and everything else.  Our backgrounds are totally different...even if we look and act the same.  I was at MICA to speak along with several other artists and show my work.  The thing that occurred to me was how insular I work, spending my time inside my head, and then to get out and realize that I had been letting a whole bunch of people see into my private thoughts as well.

You've been commissioned to create book cover artwork, such as the hard cover for The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani. Would you like to do this again? And/or for music albums maybe?
The thing is, that it's kind of backwards from how I normally think.  When I do my work it's about my own sort of view of the state of things and then find a way to deal with that visually.  It's really a gut thing.  I guess if someone wanted that from me, and let me just do my thing, why not?  It gets to feel weird when someone asks me to take some little sliver of something I do and then fill it out with something else to fit their purpose.  It would depend on whether they wanted my work or a parody of what I do.  



Have you ever thought about creating short films and/or videoclips?
One of my plans is to create videos but it's about around the still image look that I love...I haven't gotten very far on that yet.

Don't you have any intention to publish a book about your work ? Or is it too soon to your taste ?
I've been working on material for a book, which will be a collection of modern myths or fairy tales, very short stories paired along with images. They're meant to be mostly cautionary tales in some ways. The way that they used to serve a real purpose....those stories were always about teaching people about behaving in a decent way, like treating the poor stranger with dignity because they might be an enchanted prince and they could reward you later. In the end it was always about being civilized for selfish reasons, wasn't it? I guess whatever held societies together was what mattered. We don't seem to have a lot of those kinds of stories anymore and my work has always felt to me like being a slice of time in some longer drama, in my mind at least, so this is my way to finally finish a story for some of them.

Interview by Oriane G.