Aurélie Pétrel

Partition #mai2014

Exhibition 22May>02August2014

After « Polygone » in 2011 and « Lame (Fukushima) » in 2013 on DocksArtFair, Galerie Houg presents the second solo show of Aurélie Pétrel – « Partition # mai2014 ».
Aurélie Petrel transforms the very concept of photographic technique to establish rules for a double play and creates a complicity between the work and the world. The boundaries between image and context, memory and fantasy disappear, the work reveals as much as it conceals.

Aurélie defines her photography with respect to the classical image, i.e. painting as an iconic reference point, far from any referent. Her compositional choices favour the constructive force of architectural elements – walls, pylons, telephone lines, power cables, roofs, windows and openings, screen-type surfaces – in a spatial conception inherited from Piero della Francesca, which unifies the energy of reason and the sensibility of mind. The photographed space is not a decor, any more than the painted space in Piero’s work. It consists of an indefinite, almost monochrome, landscape, or building(s) whose interior-exterior dialectic is enacted both within and between images. And there is no visual escape from the reality of the image as a plane. Which does not mean that the question of illusion is circumvented. Its immanence is revealed in the object-image, including the three-dimensional structures which, in real space, modify our relationship to the image, but also the perception of all images, as both displacement and production of sense. It is a game of mirrors – a throwback to polyptychs, and to the light that is constructive within the image itself, the real light that traverses the surfaces of the window stickers 3 in which the fragile human frame is delivered up to the world of human construction. Its vulnerability, as much as its strength, is what is apprehended by Aurélie Pétrel’s photography, even in the form of an infinitesimal, almost insignificant detail that nonetheless, in the order of the image, becomes figurational, particularly through the action of colour, which, apart from structuring space, creates subtle relations between the different elements. When materialised on an opaque plane, it is a screen for projection in the literal sense. When acting in transparency it inverts the relationship to the subject, pushing it down into the image. It is homogeneous when foliage is treated as an organised space, an infinity of details and nuances, or textural effects, thus renewing the experience of photographic banality through a steady eye that can see how light corrupts all form. Emphasising frontality, the lure of narration is resisted in favour of a reflection on what an image constitutes.

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