Photographic Variations on the Theme of Body and Soul by Gisèle Nedjar
Gisèle Nedjar’s photographs offer multiple reflection about the body and its relationship to the world of the senses. The work is divided into three series, two of which are represented here; it addresses the question of individuals and their intimacy, the mind’s difficulty in inhabiting the flesh, and the way we are torn between a desire for incarnation and a yearning for the void.
In the series Portraits, the camera’s shutter, which is set for a three-second exposure, captures and reveals an impossible reality, one that can not be seen with bare eyes: faces with eyes that are both open and closed, in which sleep and wakefulness co-exist in strange harmony. By stopping time and movement, the photograph expresses a state and its opposite at one and the same time, and is both reality and illusion, precision and poetry. As in Antonioni’s Blow-Up – in which a photograph, while going out of focus due to repeated enlargements, eventually reveals both chaos and a crime that had escaped the attention of the photographer – here photographic images become a place of elusive truth.
For in these portraits in which the gaze is doubled, and both facets of the same soul overlap, we are unable to separate the sleeper from the person who is awake, reality from appearances, what springs from intimacy and what from elsewhere. Every blink of the eyelid expresses a thought moving towards the “distant interior,” in the words of Michaux, that place inside ourselves where the other that sooner or later we will have to start a conversation with appears.
The Quitter son corps (Leaving Your Body) series, printed on glass, plays with movement and the multiplication of a single being in order to explore the idea of the body as the origin of everything, a receptacle for the soul, where our desires, thoughts and vital needs are born and die. United or shattered, it expresses our strength and our fragility. It is the alpha spot, creator of life, as well as a place of finiteness, of perishable flesh.
13 rue de l'Abbaye, 75006 Paris, France
September 27, 2017 to October 28, 2017