Formats is the creative work of three artists. The project explores the meeting of three mediums, and how they play together: tracing and moving shapes, framing and cutting traces, sculpting and taming the body in a defined space and format. Three voices come together to find a common vocabulary that unites painting, dance and photography. Three very codified languages are brought together to explore points of convergence, in the simplest and most basic expression of a gesture.
Innocence, curiosity and naivity are at the core of this playful exploration. The only rules were to feel free to create,
to play with ink and raw trace, the naked body and dance, the moment suspended in time by photography. There are times when art can be produced in such a way, where it is made for no particular reason or importance other than to keep alive a sense of happiness and joy. However, in other moments, in other places, darkness and chaos roam outside the gates of this state of grace. Then the act of creation, in all its forms, from the most lyrical to the most abstract, becomes a real act of resistance for the precise reason that it is simple and without reason. But this is only an appearance of things for it is far from devoid of intention. It is the very reason that guides every movement, every frame and every trace of ink. The act of creating like this constantly questions the gesture and sight, the body, the act of creating itself and the pleasure of creating. In the end it doubts itself. And it is perhaps by doubting that one can remain free.
Formats allows the viewer to discover this encounter, this moment in time and space when three distinct points of view come together. These are rituals born from a ballet between painting and dance, dance and photography, photography and painting. This book is the exploration of the first two formats of such encounters.
Jérôme Liniger, Anthony Roques, Nicolas Jacquette
From ink and flesh
Both ink and the choreography of a gesture, are as old as time. As in the Cha Do1, in which each gesture is like a breath, time is suspended when the balance between the body and the ink is found. Rather than frozen in time, time itself is suspended! Like calm water, moving under the surface, like the muscle below the skin, breath brings life to ink from the inside.
This is the place where dance meets ink, when everything converges into one seamless flow, one energy, an indefinite tension. In that moment, like a breath, everything is fluid, suspended; it’s the moment when ink is traced, a gesture is made, a photo is taken. The ‘dark box’ captures only a fraction of this multitudinous mix of raw material and choreographed languages. Gesture becomes writing, a score. The passage of the brush recalls the precise groove left by the blade of the sword, fluid, precise and pure.
But the simplest mediums are at times the most complex to tame and master. Ink, the ink stain, the gesture, the body of the brush and of the painter, the drips of pigment…it takes as much time for the ink to flow of its own accord, to be free of constraint and restraint as it does for a body to be free, fluid and ready to transmit every feeling with purity. Then, like a ‘rite of passage’, these performances are done in almost absolute silence, a bit like a group meditation. Each act lasts only a few hours. Yet time is suspended, tribal, fleeting and eternally faithful. Then the images are made into old style paintings by being set in frames, refined until the equilibrium is found. Finally, the images are shared with you all. You without whom our art does not serve much purpose!
The choreographic exploration is articulated around the limits of the body. A language emanates from this infinite field: Put a hand, let the body settle, twist, cross, match, imagine joint possibilities from one body part to another, try to transpose, find body textures. The result is a certain ‘organicity’ inspired by Nathalie Pubellier’s footprint research: the memory of physical sensations.
The body moves, accelerates. It chooses a moment to highlight a detail, compose or let itself be carried by the constant energy, bringing together the ink of the painter and the point of view of the photographer. Sometimes accompanying a movement, then suspending it. Playing on the visible and the non-visible. By clearly drawing the space of a body part, or saturating it, in a global gesture. In the setting that constitutes these white formats, flows a common exploration, a flow that moves between gesture, line and frame.
Moving, breathing and alive
When capturing images, searching for the porosity between points of contact and moments out of the visual field. Exploring how photography can express the energy and sensuality of a moving image when combined with a choreography. Interacting directly in the plasticity of the creation.
Working on the interconnection of the mediums and how they influence each other; how the photograph becomes itself a painted subject or a dance; playing with distance and depth of penetration into the subject. Turning the photograph into an expressive extension of the dance and painting; into a dancing picture.
In this exploration, the other performers are more than subjects, supports or models. They are creators and actors of the image itself. By projecting themselves onto the painted canvas and into the photographer’s field of vision, they create multidimensional spaces. Within these spaces, gestures are thrown into multitudinous plastic dimensions and realities start to talk to each other. Thus the superimposing of the frame of the canvas, of the bodies and of the one that captures the moment, creates mixed formats that move, breathe and are alive.