We have all had this feeling, this breath of freedom at the dawn of departure, this feeling that the journey will transform us forever. Christopher Columbus understood it the hard way: "We never go as far as when we don't know where we are going".
Art Trope Gallery is delighted to present its new exhibition named "Journeys: To the Edge of Reality" from July 3rd to August 28th 2021 in the Residence Arles located at 3 rue Elie Giraud in the heart of downtown Arles. It is a collective exhibition presenting the works of the Photographers of the Art Trope Gallery. It aims to highlight the importance of displacement and trajectory on the beings, places and materials of our environment. Our travels are the foundation of who we are.
The journey is a central place in the evolution of art history. It is a necessary quest whose iconography, real or imaginary, has fascinated us since time immemorial. Spiritual and spatial journeys, from one world to another, from a lived era to times remembered, traveling goes hand in hand with the knowledge that our adventure will bring us. Art has understood it well since the Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’ to the industrial pictures of the Saint-Lazare station from Louis-Emile Durandelle, the Artist underlined these transitions which redefine, only better, the reality and the intentions of the individual. Throughout the ages, the quest for religion and the journey to the beyond has given way to the way we consume travel. The journey took a central place among artists who saw it as a way to access our deepest nature, to rediscover ourselves. Since the Middle Ages, the artist has this duty to transport his spectator. He opens doors to new horizons. Yet in a globalized world where travel is easier than ever, Art has undertaken a redefinition because of this new perspective to adventure. The surrealists began a journey towards our unconsciousness that the Contemporary Art now pursues towards a fragmented and questioned reality. We travel in time, in bodies, in nature and in practices to feel the reality of what surrounds us.
It is this process of sensation and creation of a unique point of view on ourselves that our Artists present. Their pictures are like a multitude of gates leading towards various destinations: journeys towards impossible or fantastic worlds who track our origins, in the discovery of another time and in meditation with the places which we transform as our adventures move forward. This is how, by its multitude of questioning, travelling fascinates: it has an infinite number of destinations for an infinite number of journeys, filling us with wonder at every part of our lives.
Arles is the perfect destination and meeting place for this message. It is this wonder that Art Trope Gallery want to share with the viewer here in our exhibition; this wonder that is hidden behind each eye, each camera, each photograph. The coastal geographical position of Arles encloses us and allows us for a moment to put aside the current global pandemic that no longer allows us to free our travel impulses. We therefore take advantage of this moment to escape through the most exploratory works of our artists with :
U molu - 2015 © Antoine Buttafoghi
"As soon as dream and reality merge, reality is suddenly populated with magic. The confusion between reality and dream changes our certainty.
The interweaving of those two dimensions creates a new force field. From it emerges a multidimensional world where the dream has shifted the real towards other perspectives, towards an extraordinary universe.
Magic and imagination thus distill strangeness into reality.
It is at the crossroads of these two distinct worlds, in their interaction and their uncertainty, that painters, photographers, actors and artists of all kinds draw their creeds."
"My selected photographs for this exhibition are, of course, travel photographs since it is the theme. For me, travel is less about discovering landscapes than it is about discovering the people who live there or that we meet. I love that my photos invite the viewer to imagine a story. I like them to have an unusual character, slightly distorting reality. Far from being a testimony, as it is the case of photo reports, they appeal to the imagination. In this sense, they are themselves a journey, an escape from reality. When I take a shot, I don't always know where I'm going, but I feel that there is potentially an image to be taken, a little mysterious edge to be brought out. To be satisfied, my photos must transcend the everyday mundane by creating a trigger that takes the reader out of the initial subject and fits him in a universe, on the borders of reality."
"It is by a quiet walk of the mind in meditative stillness that the most familiar things can become exotic again. One must take the time to look at the light. Here is a journey of rediscovery of everyday reality that explores its interstices and its confines hidden by our permanent movements. It lets the magic treasures of the moment evaporate. The entire universe is already there, wherever we are. To exist is a journey and the immensity only asks to reveal itself to us."
“Pursued by the Thought Police, he took the ring road - not entirely deserted - so quickly that the flashlights could not reach him. His visions haunted him, he couldn't get rid of them. His thoughts banged dully in his head. He had broken all the rules.”
Geste - 01 – 2014 © David Rousselle
"Travelling is also about adopting a different perspective. A journey that guides us to shift our perception, to observe others differently, and at the end of which it is possible to be moved by their slightest gestures."
Aurore d'Ironie – 2021 © Hélène HubertHÉLÈNE HUBERT
Out there, to laugh, to love and to die.
I set sail for the unknown that I acknowledge.
Tiny wave part of the ocean
I am carried by the current of poetry,
Ship inlaid with nights and dawns.
Entirely mingle myself with the foam;
Palms thighs belly rich of sand,
where the sea and the sky and the earth and the wind meet,
on the mirror of the sun,
Effondrement de son vieux monde – 2020 © Maxime VignaudMAXIME VIGNAUD
"For this trip to the edge of reality, I guide you beyond the factual
No need to go beyond established borders where your imagination has already been
Let it take you and it will guide you to new unusual ends. This separation from reality blurs the tracks, but isn't that what makes it interesting?
An interior journey, personal and rich in emotions, that is revealed to the viewer
This trip is an invitation to open ourselves to new horizons"
"The photographs Uturuncu and Licancabur, volcanoes in the Bolivian desert, highlight the laws of nature through the presence of wildlife and a water source. Faced with this osmosis that inspires me, worthy of a minimalist composition, I find a natural balance that I face. Like a window to an almost lost world, these landscapes drive us into the infinitely large."
"“Akvo” means “Water” in Esperanto. The choice of this constructed international language, used as a lingua franca and not being the official language of any state, further reinforces the total freedom in which water travels throughout its natural cycle. This is how water is brought to light as living and bubbling matter. Its polymorphous aspect, at the origin of this photographic work, underlines its universality and its essentiality for all organisms. This vital treasure without commercial, ethnic, political or even geographical consideration takes us to the ends of Earth."
"The theme of the "Chaos" series represents the fear of an outward opening in a very oppressive global dynamic. Currently, containment isolation is spreading globally. The windows of our homes become our access to the world, a world that we keep pushing back because of a growing fear. X-ray images of bodies exposed upside down on landscapes reveal the fragile material of which we are made of. Pushed by the current period, we become passive bodies and terrified by an invisible evil of our time, which functions as an anxiety that clings to all aspects of our lives. Specters of pain and death can thus hide behind each of our movements. Escape from fear and chaos becomes impossible and permanent, even in dreams and imaginary journeys."