Annabel Aoun Blanco, Éloigne moi de toi
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Éloigne moi de toi 27th April – 29th December 2019
Annabel Aoun Blanco is a young visual artist photographer/videographer who works on the interstice between life and death, remembering and forgetting, appearance/disappearance, black and white, solid and liquid, etc. She tackles this extremely distinct subject in an original and unique way, based on back and forth dynamics. She reveals a fundamental concept in her work: the ‘loop’!
The artist creates arrangements combining gestures, materials and the human figure. The materials used to render her research visually comprehensible have a symbolic role and are expressed in consecutive series: water, milk, plaster, sand, ash and coal. A practice of coded gestures operates on the matter like a ritual, leaving an area of freedom where it is randomly expresses. It thereby becomes the foundation that enables the human figure to be revealed and exposed .
The artist considers the analysis and illustration of the Platonist idea ‘time is a moving image of motionless eternity’ where ‘moving image’ refers to video and ‘motionless eternity’ to photography. The living models become masks then imprints. The human figure turns into little more than an image in which any attempt at representation, object of seduction by the model or the artist, provides scope for the act of representing. The subject becomes the focus of metaphysical analysis.
The artist seeks to add to the characteristics of photography those of ‘speed’ and ‘distance’ specific to video, and to video those of ‘fixed’, ‘instant’ and confinement specific to photography. The project is therefore comprehensive (photographs and videos) involving similar spheres between the two mediums, with the same combinations of materials, gestures and representations .
The reality of a space (spatial and temporal) demonstrates a back and forth dynamic between two points, life (appearance) and death (disappearance). This dynamic introduces the concept of ‘loop’; life is in death as death is in life with a transition between the two. The aim is to make this interstice between life and death visually tangible by using the mediums of photography and video. A particularly rigorous and coherent reflection produces very emotional works of a more than disturbing aesthetic quality. They call upon an intimacy between the viewer and these ‘portraits’ that speak of eternity.
All of the artist’s work follows a progression, one that is still underway. The first loop that was started in 2011 and completed in 2017 is presented in the exhibition at Musée Réattu and is recreated by the layout. Work on loop 2 is currently in progress and a third is already envisaged.
Loop 1, photography/video, is structured into 3 cycles. In these cycles, the artist consecutively and simultaneously explores characteristics specific to photography, whether from a technical and material perspective (focus, focal distance, framing, camera lens, lighting, medium, material, etc.) or in regard to the result achieved (a photograph is an instant) to which the spatiotemporal characteristics of video, ‘speed’ and ‘distance’, are gradually added.
Cycle 1, which includes the series Le Mandylion, desvoilés, and Le Cri (see press visuals) serves to highlight the ‘fixed’ characteristic of photography exacerbated from a technical perspective and through excessiveness the existence of movement in photography.
Cycle 2 seeks to add the concept of ‘speed’ specific to the medium of video with the works Sablier, Toupie, Coups après coups and Éloigne moi de toi (see press visuals) which complements the tangible movement.
Lastly in Cycle 3, the notion of ‘distance’ is added to the previous characteristics with, among others, the work dézoome II
The titles of the works are closely involved in the process. They speak of devices, gestures, physical as well as mental action, etc. In video/photography, the coming and going between remembering and forgetting is expressed through the elusive appearance of an anonymous and universal face. The twenty-eight videos are all called REVIENS, in capitals and in the imperative, like a repeated cry expressing the will to remember. They are organised into two cycles in which through the addition of the characteristics of photography (‘instant’ and ‘fixed’) the artist in the first instance highlights an uncontrollable cerebral process from remembering to forgetting and from appearance to disappearance. Subsequently, the artist demonstrates that disappearance and appearance exist simultaneously, in continual instantaneousness within a fixed space, that of photography. The interstice exists! The exhibition creates a dialogue between photography and video. It emphasizes their hybridization allowing the ’passage’ and its looped dynamic to be visible.