Time suspended by Gabriel Bauret
Antoine Passerat has been developing personal projects for more than fifteen years on the sidelines of his commissioning work for brands related to the luxury industry, mainly perfumes and cosmetics.
Within the framework of these orders, the constraint is great, the pressure strong, the time is short. If the image is the culmination of a practice specific to the know-how of the photographer, it also participates in a collective reflection and culture: beauty and sensuality are staged according to precise codes, the representation of the body responds to the aesthetic canons which impose smooth curves and shapes, subtly gendered sexuality.
This series on hammams, like other personal research by Antoine Passerat, certainly responds to his desire for escape, an escape outside the territories of fashion and advertising; but she also embodies a vision of humanity, a philosophy that echoes an inner quest. It is through an exchange with an artist friend who is interested in the particular sound world of hammams linked to the presence of water, that he undertakes in 2012, mainly in Istanbul, an exploration of these spaces and of the social – male – practice to which they are dedicated. He will then continue these shots alone until 2015.
In total, he operates in around twenty Turkish hammams, following the same technical protocol and the same approach to the men who “live” in these places: he imposes a respectful distance on himself. The idea is to restore the elements of a rite, both bodily and spiritual, the relationship of the subjects to the architecture of the space as well as to its atmosphere, in the physical sense of the term: the degree of humidity. impacts the texture of the photograph. This sort of condenses all this data, but without documentary concern.
From a plastic point of view, the consistency of the series is due to a particular rendering of shapes and colors: grain and blurs are sublimated in the print by the choice of paper on which the images are coated. The choice of the long exposure time makes the bodies almost transparent when they start to move. Perceived through the vapor that envelops them, they express a form of abandonment that makes them vulnerable, a blooming of the mind far from the demands of everyday life. Everything here is slowness; time is suspended.
Gabriel Bauret, 2020
Antoine Passerat : Hammam
September 25 – October 17, 2020
14 rue des Jardins Saint-Paul – Paris 4e