Even though a lot of these photographers have never exhibited in France before, their names are definitely not strange to the art world. I stumbled across several of their works recently and I have to admit that I was really happy to see them all being selected in the latest “Walk the Line” show by opiom Gallery.
Considering the topic of “ID as a defense mechanism in the conceptual self-portrait”, this show includes photographer Bobby BECKER (Etats-Unis), June KIM & Michelle CHO (Etats-Unis), JeeYoung LEE (Corée du SudS), Noell OSZVALD (Hongrie), Dara SCULLY (Espagne), Kyle THOMPSON (Etats-Unis), Olivier VALSECCHI (France), and Ben ZANK (Etats-Unis).
Tracing back to the psychological idea of self-portraits as explored by contemporary photographers including Francesca Woodman, Alix Cléo Roubaud, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and Mickael Ackerman during the 1960s, their techniques of “spatial construction, framing, staging, and post-production” has doubtlessly opened doors to the young wave of artists who are included in this show. Raising the questions such as “can we differentiate between the artist as a person and the artist as a character?” and “is there a significant hierarchy between the artist and his environment or, conversely, are they both of equal importance?”, this exhibition explores the ideas of time, memories, space, traumas, inner antagonisms, and different mental states.
We are especially looking out for Bobby Becker, Kyle Thompson, and Ben Zank. Bobby Becker is a formally trained photographer and sculptor who has graduated from the Belmont University, USA. He is recognized for featuring himself as an anonymous character in his photos, where he often stick with minimal set-ups which “transpose a past reality as seen through the filters of the mind and its emotions”. His images resemble a theatrical play, which plays out the “history” or the “his-story” of his character and his memory.
Kyle Thompson, who is also from the USA, is a photographer who “transport the viewer into the scenery of a personal emotion”. He started to shoot at a very young age and his photos are often set up in nature, in which the spots are filled with a strange aura as well as the remains of past lives. His photos, therefore, are able to conceptually give these places a new history, where his own imagination is injected and recorded through the fleeting moment of the shot. Surreal, eerie, with no distinct point of beginning or end, his photographic process is not only therapeutic for him, but is also used to “create a moment that never occurred but continues to live in its own unchanging state, and I love that”.
Last but not least, Ben Zank from New York City is one of the names that we have been seeing around the internet a lot. He rigorously exercises his photographic skill by taking one shot per day, and he is known for using simple props to try and “bend reality to suit his own vision.” While expressing his own emotional experiences, his images also challenge the usual perception that we have of gravity. He fuses the character into the surrounding so that the idea of self-identity is literally blurred.
29th Sept to 31st, Dec 2016
opiom Gallery: 11 Chemin du village, 06650 Opio