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Artist / Benedicte Blondeau

Ce qu'il reste #19 // 2018

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Ce qu'il reste #19

Planet earth at night. We see the world from above. Everywhere the intervention of mankind has transformed the landscape, evidenced by the lights of the cities shining in the dark. A human’s silhouette appears. «Nothing distinguishes memories from ordinary moments. Only later do they become memorable by the scars they leave1». (Chris Marker in La Jetée). It will be the only human presence directly recorded by the camera. What follows somehow already belongs to the past. What remains is a silent universe, where the emptiness of the spaces leaves an impression to the spectator, who observes from a certain distance. Impression implying a kind of speculation, coming from what we see but also from what we imagine of it. More than a given reality, the pictures show what no longer exists. We see places of intimacy. And other spaces, extravagantly imposing, monumental constructions that once emerged from the imagination of mankind. An attempt to reorganize the world, from massive structures to the pursuit of the registration and categorization of all living creatures. A gigantic project of classification which demonstrates a desire to establish control and order. The photographs taken in museums show how we are conditioned in the way we see the world around us. Ce qu’il reste is an invitation to travel in space, but also in time. A journey through images created with a camera. Photography itself is often considered as the medium of the ephemeral. It shows us a moment that undeniably belongs to the past, reveals our passages in a constantly changing reality, like a scar recalling our memories: a metaphor of the fragility of our human existence. But it is that same medium which eventually leads the spectator to a change of perspective, showing what remains when the same spaces are left by those who once inhabited them, with their individual stories and collective memories. Far from the tumult of men, in the silent depths of the earth, an imperturbable and majestic movement continues its slow trajectory undertaken hundreds of millions of years ago. And maybe for eternity.

Benedicte Blondeau

Born in La Louvière, Belgium ​ Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal ​ Studied applied communication specialized in media education at IHECS, Brussels and photography at Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent and Ar.co, Lisbon. ​ Bénédicte Blondeau’s work finds its inspiration in her immediate environment. The spaces depicted in her pictures are mostly empty and silent and could be seen as a kind of « heterotopia », a perambulation from nature to city, a way of experiencing urban spaces, a selection in and an interpretation of material, constructed and the pre-orchestrated world. Corridors, halls, waiting rooms, passages create spaces of otherness in which the rules and norms of society no longer apply. Their emptiness leaves an impression to the spectator, who observes from a certain distance. Impression implying a kind of speculation, coming from what we see but also from what we imagine from it. Here and there characters emerge, fragile and uncertain, without being seen completely. Space becomes more than what is represented, inviting to wonder what happened or will happen inside, but also outside of it. The environment depicted in her images becomes like another space, real and absolutely unreal at the same time. An expanding parallel universe which finds its source in urban interiors or sometimes in nature used to create images whose ways of interpretation contrast with the actual flow of images generated by the media in our societies.
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