As an extension of the Ndar exhibition presented at Galerie VU’ from May 13 to September 3, the exhibition José Ramón Bas, from the imaginary to the object offers a cross-sectional narrative through the work of an artist who defies classification. Bas invents objects that preserve the memories of his experiences, of his emotions. An indefatigable traveller, mostly in Africa and Latin America, he shoots pictures of the people and landscapes he encounters. Back in his workshop in Spain, as the imaginary blends with memory, he starts to transform his images into objects. Photographs, while reproducible by nature, become unique thanks to the artist’s inspiration and the different ways he brings it to bear: he draws boats and people directly on the print, he glues silver paper on its surface, he scratches the very image. This original photograph, a perfect reconstitution of the memory and associated emotions, is finally sealed under a coat of resin. As chunks of memory encapsulated in blocs of resin, José Ramón Bas’s objects give rise to dreams, and invite the viewer to gather up his own memories: memories of instants forever gone, but which such pieces, created by an artist, keep indefinitely alive in our imagination.
For the 2011 edition of the Rencontres d’Arles we present a programme of both long- and short-form films, by and about the artists of the Galerie VU’ (along with a number of fellow-travellers), all focused on the thin frontier separating still and moving images. These are films that, in the end, bring us closer to our artists, their viewpoints, their sensibilities and to the fictions they invent. The in-between image is also a meditation on motion, time and desire. It circles around the idea of a time before and after the image, when photography, forced into motion by cinema, metamorphoses; around the notion of viewpoint, of source as well, when an author, director or photographer chooses to take up the motion-picture camera to create the portrait of another, always in search of that common object of desire which is the image In 2010, the photographer Jean-Christian Bourcart presented his second feature-length film, In Memory of Days to Come. Élodie Bouchez plays Maya, a promising artist who has just moved to New York. Bourcart explores here a new level of consciousness based on the ability of people to dream together, to the point where they must posit the real existence of a single state of being, that of the waking dream. When one watches his video Bardo, or photographs of his Traffic series, or the images and texts of Or death must claim you (Sinon la mort te gagnait), one understands, at the heart of the artist’s oeuvre, the coherence of this new type of film-making. It is work that transcends the boundaries of image to enter an in-between space. In a manner similar to that characterising this film of Jean-Christian Bourcart, the programme will display on the wide screen a series of diverse experiences and conversations. Taking advantage of a year of transition, the Galerie VU’ thus subtly questions the exalting, always mysterious relationship we enjoy with respect to the image.