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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

Fernand Fonssagrives – Light Perspectives at Benrubi Gallery

Image above: ©Fernand Fonssagrives/Courtesy of Benrubi Gallery, NYC.

 

Benrubi Gallery presented the first show of photographs in the United States by Swiss-French artist Delphine Burtin, which opened on Thursday, September 10 at the Benrubi Gallery. Simon Baker of the Tate Modern has called Burtin's work "seductive and highly intelligent.”

Untitled-1Images above: ©Fernand Fonssagrives/Courtesy of Benrubi Gallery, NYC.

 

Duchamp's readymades meet Burroughs' cut-ups in Encouble. Merging photography with collage and construction, Burtin’s art blurs the line between image and sculpture, between intention and, in the artist’s phrase, “accident.” Dynamic geometries, by turns as playful as Paul Klee and somber as Agnes Martin, gloss an illusion of order over images whose fluid forms continually invite and rebuff identification and interpretation. Some subjects are photographed as still lives, their status as objects—indeed, as shapes—undermined by deft choices of composition, angle, light. Others are intensely reworked—manually manipulated, photographed and rephotographed until the original object (if such a concept even applies here) is subsumed beneath layers of abstraction. The photographs become object and subject both: mysterious chromatic arrangements whose Benjaminian aura persists even as the they cohere and dissolve into and out of quotidian solidity, or familiar artifacts whose materiality becomes increasingly conjectural under what Duchamp might call retinal examination. Antiheroic in scale, semiotically monumental, and suffused with a wry wit both philosophical and visual in nature, these remarkable transubstantiatations audaciously efface the noumenal world while simultaneously adding to it.

Delphine Burtin (b. 1974) studied at the School of Applied Arts in Vevey, Switzerland, receiving her degree in graphic design. The series Disparition was shown at the festival Boutographies in Montpellier, France. Encouble won the first prize at Photo Forum PasquArt, Bienne, Switzerland. Encouble was also produced as a book by Aperture, which was nominated for the First Photobook prize at the 2013 Paris Photo Fair. She is also the recipient of the 2014 Prix HSBC pour la Photographie.

les berlingotsImage above: ©Fernand Fonssagrives/Courtesy of Benrubi Gallery, NYC.

 

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