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Brodbeck & de Barbuat

Fragments d'éternité

October 11 - November 23, 2019 

Opening Thursday October 10, 6 - 9pm

The artists-photographers-filmmakers show me images that are transitional, slowed down, or some even blurry; details, fragments, passages of time. They tell me that they often go in search of spirits, that they went to meet them in the Amazon. They talk to me about beliefs involving the soul of beings and the spirit of things. I listen to them, I take their word for it, because I have always known (or simply known for a long time) that without a soul and without a spirit, nothing persists, nothing radiates, nothing breathes.

 Then, I watch a film, shot in Japan, In Search of Eternity II. In search of eternity as others went in search of a miracle: a challenge to exist again, perhaps. Japan as a land where such an eternity would exist. Eternity would be time, time stretched, time suspended, time on faces or through bodies, time on people and on a few streets. Eternity appears, I can see it in the leaves, in the green bamboo, moving in a shot from right to left, before fleeing into the black box. The man speaks in German, sweet, melodious, a storytelling voice; the voice also fades before disappearing from our ears. Another voice comes to my mind, in a Chris Marker film, Sans-Soleil, also shot in Japan - I think of Marker who left for this film in search of an image of happiness; he finally found it coming across three children on an Icelandic road. 

Would searching for eternity be like looking for such an image of happiness again? I don’t know. I only know that the voice here whispers a world that has not yet started. And I say to myself that eternity is nothing more than an eternal beginning: the aerial vision captures a humanity at a standstill that looks at what is happening inside itself, the writings of youth are sketched in a form of seriousness, a crowd makes its way through. Not many children and not many elders, but invisible angels who support those who are there. The screaming madness of the advertisements in Shinjuku is no longer the rival of anything, it has already lost the competition against the softness of a turquoise satin ribbon in someone’s hair. The solitude of public parks, linear buildings, electric wires also becomes a kind of caress. And she, the young woman in a blue dress, eyes lowered, a necklace of white pearls, why does she stand out from the picture? The answer to this question is undoubtedly found in tenderness, which is only an attention to detail. The German voice continues : Mein Vater. Meine Mutter. Meine Frau. Mein Kind. The father, the mother, the woman, the child. The primitive nucleus, the home that could so quickly break down. But when the face turns and the camera films the sky at dusk, we know, we see, a form of hope for a serene future. I then open a book by Peter Handke, Nova’s final monologue in Par les villages: "Those who love, alone transmit: loving one thing is enough for everything". Léa Bismuth - September 2019 Simon Brodbeck (1986, DE) and Lucie de Barbuat (1981, FR) form a duo of photographers working together since 2005 in Paris. Boarders of Villa Médicis, Académie de France in Rome in 2016-2017, Brodbeck & de Barbuat are graduates of the École nationale supérieure de la photographie d'Arles. Winners of the HSBC Prize for Photography in 2010, they received the Young Creative Award in 2013, the Grand Prix International de la Photographie de Vevey and the Prix de la Bourse du talent in 2009. In 2017, they benefited from a personal exhibition at the MEP - Maison européenne de la photographie in Paris.
Léa Bismuth
septembre 2019



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Simon Brodbeck (1986, DE) and Lucie de Barbuat (1981, FR) form a duo of photographers working together since 2005 in Paris. Boarders of Villa Médicis, Académie de France in Rome in 2016-2017, Brodbeck & de Barbuat are graduates of the École nationale supérieure de la photographie d'Arles. Winners of the HSBC Prize for Photography in 2010, they received the Young Creative Award in 2013, the Grand Prix International de la Photographie de Vevey and the Prix de la Bourse du talent in 2009. In 2017, they benefited from a personal exhibition at the MEP - Maison européenne de la photographie in Paris.

 

Léa Bismuth is an art critic, author and independent curator, notably of La Traversée des Inquiétudes (in Labanque de Béthune, from 2016 to 2019). Since 2013, she has curated about twenty exhibitions. In 2019, she published La Besogne des Images, Éditions Filigranes.