On Edge

    Thursday, February 23, 2006 to Saturday, March 25, 2006

    Opening
    • Friday, February 24, 2006
    My work is expressed mainly through photographs and text. The story I am telling draws upon standards in our everyday lives: regulations, instructions and restrictions. I am interested in their representation and narrative, or more specifically, in the moment when an emotion or story can be communicated. For the past few years, I have been interested in the ambiguous relationship we have with security. The concepts of danger, comfort and indifference have been put into play to create a tension where survival comes with apathy. Over time, the source of what is threatening has become increasingly abstract, leaving the subjects in the work, alone with their anxieties, awaiting a catastrophe to finally give their life meaning. My current research continues to examine these psychological protective mechanisms by focusing on the relationship between the individual and the collective. Aesthetically, I am now forgoing the pseudo-realism of my previous work in order to pursue a more metaphorical approach. Précipices [On Edge] explores the different relationships between individuals and their social environment. The work features groups of people in conflictive situations with each other, but also characters who are alone or withdrawn. The text, for its part, proposes aphorisms that refer to the worst in humans in order to disturb spectators in their individualist refuges. The images give the impression of being seen through a filter. As with reverse painted images, only certain elements can be seen through the darkness, which immediately provide a viewing path for the spectator. This more theatrical and dramatic approach responds to a need to situate images outside of reality. These snapshots examine our obsessions with success in our relationships with others. The photographs and texts present a flow of visual clips and offer the spectator some sort of developed narrative. Certain scenes are played out over two or three images thus multiplying the points of view. Other sequences leave out the character, with nothing left but a place or an object. For Précipices, selected phrases ask questions about intimacy, generosity and availability. Deliberately ambiguous, the work blends pessimism with optimism to confuse readers and encourage them to reflect on values that we tend to take for granted. Part of the research for this project resulted from the previous web project, Gravity Principles.* Sébastien Cliche