For her new solo exhibition at the galerie in situ fabienne leclerc, Florence Paradeis shows new photographs, a selection of original collages, and a recent video whose title gives its name to the exhibition. As Paradeis says, “Photos, collages, videos…same difference. The question is reality, reaction and perception.”
“Rooted in theatrical staging, Florence Paradeis’ photographs look like fake snapshots where two supposed antithetical themes are utterly intertwined: the instant captured from reality and the invented, the illusion, and the purely made up.” * Lifted from reality and the everyday, the scenes are totally reinterpreted down to the last detail. The result isn’t an image that mirrors a perceived reality, but one that portrays the deeply tense meeting between the material and the imagined--as if it were an attempt to dismantle the very act of looking, which incidentally is often what people in the images are doing.
This same idea of assembly and taking apart is also at work in Paradeis’ collages. Parts of pictures are cut away from the originals, redirecting their meaning along with the montage. Once reproduced, the combinations play on distortions of scale and disparate elements from today’s culture. But unlike the photographs, and perhaps in opposition to them, these images don’t try to sum up their fragments and the figures don’t claim any deeper meaning. Nonetheless, they deliver a clean break--a first cousin to the camera’s shutter.
As part of a broad practice clearly oriented to the creation of the image, Florence Paradeis’ videos often take the form of a static shot where time and space are “compressed” into photographic portraits. Made in 2008, “Till the end” on the contrary takes us to “a hollow in the green where a river sings” and reveals the mischievous Till at the water’s edge…the visual movement etched into Rimbaud’s poem is what guides our view.
* Catherine Francblin