“In a posture undoubtedly inherited from ancestral classicism, it is easy to stop our perception of a landscape-even its representation, to a contemplative moment. It would be far too simple to adopt this passive position, almost naive, in the face of Elsa Leydier’s images. The unprecedented aestheticism of her work, beyond formal seduction, is thoughtful and constructed, not to delight us in reality, but to bring us back to it.
These photographs are draped with a veil similar to that of a watch case no longer waterproof, like a fault in an ordered aesthetic system, and for good reason: contemporary photographer, witness of a world she sees darkening, shaking, suffocating, It is impossible for this French artist who has settled in Brazil, to offer a photography with blinkers, detached from the issues that cross her daily landscapes.
Our mental landscapes are built on dream representations of the South American continent. Lush Amazon landscapes, cheering crowds during sporting glory in the Maracana stadium, like decontextualised oases, these mirages are detached from any setting in context. They are built to function autonomously. And the photographic works of Elsa Leydier are there to deconstruct them.
She carries this out formally in her latest series, “# Elenão”, which introduces into the computer code of digital images, the homophobic, misogynistic, racist words of the current Brazilian president. This irruption of the context creates a bug in the image, a point of material and ideological break between our mental landscapes and the political landscape.
Elsa Leydier reminds us that our landscapes are plural. By associating with her images excerpts from political speeches, newspaper images, vernacular photographs, and demographic data, the artist constructs her images at the crossroads of contemporary issues. Also, if Elsa Leydier manipulates the images – she who denounces it, with a fine intelligence, she brings out an other truth: more true, more dense, more vast. ”
Amélie Samson – Guest Curator
POLTRED – The house of photography in Lyon
First French concept store on photography, hosting a gallery with two exhibition areas, a shop, a café, a daily rental space with offices, a shooting studio, film and digital laboratories, Poltred is dedicated entirely to photography and photographers, amateurs and professionals alike.
Since September 2018, the house of photography has opened its doors in the 3rd arrondissement of Lyon in a neighborhood in the making located between the prefecture and Guillotière. Gallery of a new genre, Pauline Maret and Julien Malabry offer the people in Lyon and visitors to discover recognised artists alternating collaborations with flagship institutions such as the Polka gallery and the festival Circulation (s), and emerging authors discovered during readings of portfolios. Poltred works for their artists and supports photography.
For the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Lyon 2019, the Poltred Gallery has offered Amélie Samson, Curator and Exhibition Production Manager for the Rencontres d’Arles, to curate the exhibition. She chose to invite photographer Elsa Leydier, in collaboration with Yan Di Meglio, director of the Galerie Intervalle, Paris.
54 cours de la Liberté