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PAUL ALEXANDRE
Slowness

“For the fashion of this world passed away”

Paul of Tarsus, I Corinthians, 31

An image the color of dreams.

An image in black and white.

And then something that floats in the air and yet has weight. A shape which constantly gives itself the slip, a shape which is already something else before it becomes what it would have been.

A cloud.

A cloud in the immensity of blue turned grey, caught up in the cogs of the invisible mechanisms of the Universe. Its density, its mass and its contours change with the winds that blow high in the sky, which we never notice until it is too late. Those winds heave it around, gnaw at it, hound it, race ahead of it, enclose it, and badger it without respite, to the point of exhaustion.

Paul Alexandre´s photographs, timeless snapshots, are like this cloud.

They do not tell us what happened, but rather what was happening in a present that was both repeated and deferred. Nor do they crystallize a fraction of a second, as other photographs do, but a segment of time, the kinematic time of its own coming into being.

For if, as Victor Hugo wrote, "form is substance that has risen to the surface", the time contained within the instantaneous image is the time of this rising-up from the depths to the surface of what is visible.

Each of these photographs reinvents a form of time through a subtle play of tensions and release. It is no longer astronomical time, or a form of perpetual motion without landmarks, but a kind of parallel, intermediate time, desynchronized, torn away from any original, linear continuity, with no reconciliation possible. It is a form of the present, a rotating present that turns on itself with increasing velocity until it totally disappears. It collapses into itself from inside. It is now no more than a black hole, a void into which reality escapes and in which the imagination is engulfed.

This is the place of lost awareness, of loss of consciousness.

An absence, a kind of reverie, like when we listen “not entirely to what (is) being said, but to the murmur or current behind it.” (1)

A corridor that takes us back into the space of in-fans (2), that world before the world, that world of the non-verbal, of the absence of speech. Childhood and its silence, where the unseen moments of lost time remain.

In his images, Paul Alexandre refracts the world’s shadow, its deceptive appearance, its fleeting presence always about to melt into thin air and leave not a rack behind, to disappear into the depths of the no longer visible, "the banal, the everyday, the obvious, the background noise, the habitual" (3). 

It is at this precise place that reality escapes from the exasperating opacity of the world, stares at itself, while the photographic image becomes the mask of the visible on the invisible, as if its appearance had been corrected by transparency, as if, by a skillful trick, these luminous emissions were restoring something that no longer exists on the other side of the world.

But, "on the other side of the world”, Céline Walter promises us, “we will recover.”

Her tenuous, delicately weighted words float in the weightlessness of this book.

They are scattered through the pages without signposts or compass. And they sit there, facing the images in a secret understanding with time – neither saying too much nor giving anything away –, seeming to follow an inner voice. As if the images were lock gates that have released the streams of the subconscious. And Celine Walter there to establish understanding; the image and the word connected by an invisible thread, rising and falling, the transmitter at one end, the receiver at the other, weaving together the modulations of their secret harmony.

The breath of the human soul on a child´s lips.

Anne Morin

 

(1) Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, 1929

(2) Infancy (from Latin infans, “unable to speak”)

(3) Georges Pérec, L’infra-ordinaire, 1989

TECHNICAL DETAILS

> CuratorAnne Morin
> Number of works70 Polaroids
> Size of works8,8 x 10,7cm
> ConditionsFramed in white wooden frames of 22x26cm
> TransportFrom Madrid
> AvailabilityFrom October 2018
> Rental ConditionsThe borrower will be in charge of:
-The Transport From and to Madrid
-The insurance nail to nail
-Flight and Journey for the curator of the show from Madrid

 

CATALOGUE

  • Title: Paul Alexandre. Slowness
  • Version: French / English
  • Format: 21,5 x 26,5cm
  • Number of pages: 112
  • Publisher: diChroma photography

VENUES

  • Campredon Centre d´Art - Isle sur la Sorgue, France
    July 7 - October 7 2018

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