8th International Month of Photography, Athens, 2001


26/09 - 03/11/2001

(8th International Month of Photography, Athens)

Natacha Lesueur, Theodoros Raftopoulos, Roman Signer, Uri Tzaig, Erwin Wurm, Blommers & Schumm

Under this title and through different generations of contemporary artists, the exhibition focuses on the action as oeuvre. In this context, photography is a way to fix the moment of the action (and its interaction) instigated by the artists at different levels; time is often the element that allows the image to emerge: events-as-sculpture (Signer), One Minute Sculptures (Wurm), Pressions (Lesueur); body as the ground and the medium of the action (Raftopoulos, Lesueur); the relations between the human figure and his environment in which he's constantly projected (Blommers & Schumm); the game and the investigation of its rules as a way to re- experiment  the social or physical identity (Tzaig).

Through all this practices, that testify of various states of being, seems to come into view an irrepressible humanity, whom actors are both the artist and the viewer.

From her first pieces in 1994, the body, mostly female, is Natacha Lesueur's favorite subject. At a first glance her photographies refer to fashion pictures, but one can notice the skin marked by various and ephemeral interventions: marks of accessories, signs from optical test, arrangements of food recovering it… Without dissimulating the process, she questions the codes and rituals of the standardized glamour and beauty, creating ambiguous pictures between seduction and disgust, regarding the body as image as well as the body as experience.

Since Germinations X (1998-99), Theodoros Raftopoulos's sensual and instinctive pictures based on symmetric or kaleidoscopic arrangements showed his compositional skill and asserted Manipulation as the basis of his work.
The whole body of work becomes the set of hybrid situations, questionning relations such as physical and mental, intimacy and history, inside and outside, energy and desire...
In this context of permanent evolution, the recurrent and essential green element operates as a link between human, animal & plant, playing with its natural/artificial quality, sometimes recovering the body, sometimes acting as an abstract background.

Since the 1970's, Swiss artist Roman Signer has been making his temporary sculptures/ actions that he documents with film, video and photography. In this extraordinary body of work, Signer has increasingly appeared, both as instigator and subject. Without spectacular, feed by various historical movements such as Post-minimalist, Fluxus, Process or Performance art, elements from Land art, his oeuvre focuses on the moment when one body or form suddenly changes into another, on the process fusing creation and destruction. Signer establishs a kind of cycle which refers to our mere physical reality, to catastrophe and failure.

Besides the temporality, the central component of Erwin Wurm's sculptures is the person; combining drawing, photography, performance and video, Wurm since the early Dust Pieces (1990) explores the conditions of sculpture, its materiality/dematerialisation.
The One Minute Sculptures (using the performer's own body, including objects or other people in the process of realisation), expand the communicative potential of sculpture, its analytic and anthropological character, simultaneously charged with emotion, fragility and humour.

Uri Tzaig explores, since 1996, the game and its rules to experiment the relationship of bodies with space and time and, more widely, the various levels of socialization. Mostly through videos (Play 1996, Infinity 1998, Allah Akbar 2001…), but also with installations, symbolic objects like the sphere or writings. Uri Tzaig proposes situations/scenarios in which the actors (football players, dancers and of course the viewers) have to re-experience their act of participation. In this new context, Tzaig's work encompasses both an individual dimension and a collective, social and political one.

The fashion photographers Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm play with the conventions of fashion in their work. They combine its superficiality with the detached individual and the sadness surrounding it. This duality is activated by the contrast between the human presence (inside the picture as well as the viewer's) and the environment in which he is integrated, questioning collective codes and determinisms. The photographies presented have been shot in Greece during the summer 2001 and will be published in Dutch Magazine (October Issue).