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Paris Photo 2019 : Elsa Leydier / Galerie Intervale



Work done as part of the house of Ruinart Award

Exhibition at the Promenade, Grand Palais, 7 – 10 November

If photography and champagne share a common denominator, it is light. While the first is written only with light, the second feeds on it. The king of wines is born from the control of the impact of light rays at all stages of its manufacture. The inclination of the slopes is thus calculated at best to capture the sun’s rays. The cellars are scrupulously protected from UV rays that could give champagne a “taste of light” thus spoiling the subtlety of its aromas.

To carry out this work, I experimented different means from the common practice of the photographic medium, device in hand. I looked for other possibilities. In Heatwave, so-called “conventional” photographs are combined with experimental light-capturing means, such as rayograms – made in filtering the light rays through materials used to protect the champagne from the “taste of light”.

Thus, these photographs with incandescent colors were revealed under the tinted glass bottles of champagne developed over the centuries to protect this nectar of light.

Through this work on light, I wanted to raise the issue of climate change that changes the intrinsic link between man and nature, so the harvest was made in 2019 under a blazing sun, several weeks ahead from the average time at the end of the last century, and after episodes of summer heatwave that led to the loss of part of the harvest. Heatwave is also a tribute to the know-how, crafts and secrets of Maison Ruinart to offer each year a wine equal to itself despite the vagaries of the weather.

Elsa Leydier


Elsa Leydier (1988, France), lives and works in Rio de Janeiro Brazil where she settled in 2015, Elsa Leydier diverts the political charge of iconic images in each of her projects, each time with a different aesthetic.

In Plátanos con platino and Braços verdes e olho cheios de asas, the artist modifies the colors of her photographs made in Latin America to produce a “pop” and luminous image, bringing to its surface the richness of biodiversity. By an aesthetic borrowed from the codes of luxury, Elsa Leydier revalorizes a territory and inhabitants delivered to land speculation. She joins the wonder of the poet Garcia Marquez who wrote in 1954 when he discovered this region: “If someone had the idea to plant a banana tree, the fruits would have grown as platinum nuggets. ”

With Les Echappées, Elsa Leydier rewrites, through poetry, socio-economic maps. Of these cards, of which she erased the numerical mentions and the legend, it remains only red blood spots, the imprint of evils recorded (modern slavery, assassinations of Indians …), of an iconic nature.

Her most recent project, Brazil Error System (# Eleñao), takes the form of light boxes in wood and glass imitating a mobile phone. They are silent witnesses of the presidential campaign 2.0 led by Jair Bolsonaro, current president of Brazil, in the din of social networks. At the end of 2018, during the presidential campaign, Elsa Leydier types the word “Brazil” into a search engine. She gets a series of “clichés” images of a brave Brazil. By inserting in the text code of each of the images the invectives pronounced by the candidate Bolsonaro, the artist modifies the digital DNA of the “beautiful image” and creates a visual bug (glitching technique). But is it really the artist who damages the image of Brazil?

Yan Di Meglio, Director of the Intervalle Gallery



Interval gallery

Curiosa sector, stand SC-6

solo show by Elsa Leydier

Maison Ruinart Award – Paris Photo 2019

Winner of the Dior Prize for Photography for Young Talents 2019


Paris Photo 2019

Novembre 7–10, 2019

Grand Palais Paris

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