This book is published within the framework of the Prix Niepce, with which The Eyes Publishing is associated since 2019. The publisher offers the winner the publication of an artist’s edition limited to 400 copies. It is supported by Picto Foundation.
In 2020, the Prix Niépce was awarded to Marina Gadonneix.
From the series “Phénomènes” that the artist pursued between 2014 and 2019, “Tornades” stages and reconstructs these isolated wind vortices that often make the news. Produced in a scientific research facility dedicated to the analysis and reconstruction of natural phenomena, the photographs gathered in this book draw inspiration from the scientific and the spectacular to extract an evanescent form of disorder, a kind of poetic atmosphere and enveloping atmosphere. The voluptuousness of the milky wind in contrast with the austerely black background, the delicacy of the grey levels sketching the architectural models, everything is highlighted by the artist in such a way as to let us be absorbed by the magic, the rhythm and the attraction of these extraordinary natural phenomena.
A photographer fascinated by the reverse side of photographic images, or more precisely by the hollow, erased device that invites a particular representation, the artist has been thwarting so-called documentary photography since her first photographic series. Instead of photographing works of art, she shows us the invisible devices (plinths, backdrops, etc.) that are in the process of disappearing as soon as the expected photograph is taken.
The inlay backgrounds of film studios become these blue or green monochrome landscapes, perceptual spaces close to the immateriality of James Turrell’s immersive luminous pieces.
Materiality and immateriality, lights and colored spectres, but also presence and absence, reality and fiction are recurring photographic dualities that will be found in “After the image” and will discover their artistic maturity in the “Phenomena” series, images of what appears, but also of what can hypnotise the gaze and sharpen the imagination as much by the incomprehension of what is seen as by the conceivability of the unknown.
Thus, these latest images, resulting from research work carried out in scientific laboratories that reconstitute the operations of natural phenomena, become spaces of projections as poetic as the names of the scientific objects of which they are the theaters of our imaginations… supernova, dark matter, vortex….
In the introduction, the text of the photographer and writer Marcelline Delbecq describes with force and effectiveness the apprehension of this threatening moment of the catastrophe.
“We have to tell ourselves that in this place there was something and that suddenly there was nothing left, in an extreme speed and slowness, as if in the middle of sleep someone had erased our memory. There was something, a place, lives, gigantic towers and tiny plants, and all that was shifted from one instant to another, or rather from one time to another, because the instant was not so brief, as if it had slowed down, on the contrary, a before that became after, extended in a duration that no one tried to calculate, because it was necessary to understand what was happening, to find a shelter. Something was there and then not. It was night, a black night such as only exists in certain remote places, deep in the plains, where only the glow of the stars makes you feel the presence of the sky above you – their lights so frail, as if ready to break, to fade away”. Marcelline Delbecq
ABOUT Marina Gadonneix
Marina Gadonneix was born in 1977 in Paris, where she lives and works. A graduate of the École nationale supérieure de la photographie d’Arles, Marina Gadonneix got HSBC Photography award in 2006 and Dummy Book award from Luma Foundation and the Rencontres d’Arles in 2018. Her work has been exhibited in many institutions in Europe and the United States, particularly at the Centre Photographique d’Île-de-France, the Rencontres photographiques d’Arles, the Kunsthalle of Tübingen, the Point du Jour, in Cherbourg, and MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image at the Musée de Joliette, Canada. The artist is represented by Christophe Gaillard gallery.