Fragmentations Singulières

Benoit Sabourdy

11. 05. 2016 – 25. 06. 2016

Benoit Sabourdy’s images have strong links with chance and are without doubt the closest to the spirit of Mind’s Eye of all the photographs that we have had the pleasure to exhibit in the gallery so far. They often involve a strange sort of geometry, a geometry describing spaces of indeterminate dimension and form, to which one must inevitably adjoin the element of time. David Hockney’s photo collages also encapsulate both space and time, although in a totally different manner.

This artistic approach falls naturally within the realm of the history of photography. Already in the middle of the nineteenth century, pioneers such as William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron claimed chance as an essential element in their work. Fox Talbot was aware that a photographic scene might well include entities not foreseen by the photographer and which occasionally enriched the resulting picture. As for Cameron, she deliberately took less care than necessary in preparing her photographic plates and voluntarily blurred the main subjects of her photographs in order to afford chance a nontrivial input in the end result. She sought in this way to distinguish herself from the commercial photographers of the day, for whom perfect sharpness was the ideal.

At the visual level, Benoit Sabourdy’s photographs have clear precursors in the New Vision movement of the twenties and early thirties. One might mention Moï Ver and Alexander Rodchenko and also, for certain images, Heinz Hajek-Halke, Jean Dréville, Maurice Tabard, André Kertész… This said Benoit Sabourdy’s modus operandi is quite distinct and original because he frequently employs the technique of multi-exposure rather than superposition, thereby obtaining images less constructivist than surrealist, images leaving a large place to the spectator’s imagination.