Mémoires Contemporaines (2018 – in progress)

Self-portrait made at the Ateliers Yves Monnier, Saint-Romans, France, 2021.

After initiating the project Les Vaches de Monsieur Yoshizawa in 2014, I looked for a way to expand the principle of written and photographic correspondence that I had established on that occasion. This is how the Mémoires Contemporaines project was born during a research and production residency at the l’Association Médiart in Grenoble from 2018 to 2019.

“What part of history, of our history, do we want to transmit? Each person who wishes to do so can share a part of his or her history through an image that is meaningful to them and whose preservation is important to them: a family image, a news image, an everyday image, a travel image, etc.”

Series of digital images from the exhibition Mémoires Contemporaines, L’Antichambre Galery, Chambéry, FRANCE, 2022.

I collect these images via the platform www.memoirescontemporaines.com, accompanied by a few lines from each person in their mother tongue or in a chosen language, as a personal and meaningful testimony, a context. Each time an image arrives on the platform, the work of materialisation is done following the chronology of the files arrival; there is no selection criteria. I then substitute other materials for the screens that embody digital images in everyday life. These materials come from human and/or non-human activity, all having the common quality of being persistent in the environment, polluting or not, they mark the landscape durably: plastic, concrete, automotive body paint or marking paint, tar, gold. I use a vast variety of the types of artistic and production processes available today, from engraving, stencilling, silk-screening or even industrial digital printing and cutting. My idea is to discover these specific personal interests, the sensitivities of some, and of others, around the uses of photography today…I make a collection from these anonymous peoples’ images, as well as the individual’s criteria for selection and conservation.

Series of digital images from the Mémoires Contemporaines project 2018 – 2021.

Through the device of depositing vinyl stencils, I explore a new way of working. Rather than choosing the materials with which to embody the digital images myself (as in the small formats above), I have decided to utilise the stencil, but not to use it directly to materialise the work. Instead, it is the immediate environment that gives it its final form. The stencils are literally abandoned to their surrounds and over time the particles present in the air, in the water, from human and non-human activity slowly impregnate the base made of fermacell board (a mixture of cellulose fibres and plaster).

Series of digital photographs taken during the unveiling of a stencil in Grenoble, France, 2018.

After a few weeks, a few months, when the stencil starts to peel off, I reveal the image by removing the sticker.

Series of digital images from the Mémoires Contemporaines project 2018 – 2021.

For more information, please visit the website dedicated to this project : www.memoirescontemporaines.com