First and foremost, an image is essentially a flat surface that bears representation. It is most likely for this reason that Barthes once declared that he hated dreams: they, like images, only approach the reality of what one can see in them. He seemed to regret the inability to delve entirely into the dream, the inability to inhabit them, and in them find something fixed. Strangely, it is against this will to exist in representation that most of his readers fight. For them, as images take on new forms of support, the fantasies that are more ardently generated must be deconstructed and repressed.
Let us consider this in a very practical way. However deeply we enter into a printed image, we’ll only find a trace, a frame, pixels, matter. This is not to naively assume that this desired projection into represented reality can be reached by throwing yourself literally into it, hoping to pierce the surface. Rather, it is a consideration of how images are created prior to what they represent.
In this regard, one can attest to our growing ability to manipulate that which is inscribed in the image. We produce and consult images with the same ease that we modify them. The moment forever fixed by photography that Barthes once described no longer exists. The images that surround us are constructed in multiple layers, re-composed long after the instant of capture—if there ever was such a moment.
Their relation to the real is therefore less tenuous then. Less necessary also. Our pictures are nothing more than information shaped by such or such reading device. In this sense, we probably do not consider dreams the same way we considered them in 1980, as we have become more and more conscious of the pixels that form them. Today we enter images in a very particular way, penetrating the information it contains without ever drowning in it. It is in this regard that this exhibition would merely like to present a surface. A malleable, penetrable, modifiable, but untouchable surface.