Edition 2023


Daniel Wagener

opus incertum

In opus incertum–a term borrowed from Roman masonry, which consists of building walls from small blocks, broken tiles and a variety of bricks–the artist questions the memory of time and place, and the social and functional transformations experienced by the Chapelle de la Charité, the religious building and place of worship in which he is exhibiting his work. He seeks to expose the strata that have built up and to connect the site to contemporaneity.
The in-situ installation is an arrangement of prefabricated shelves, industrial racks, crossing the main nave from left to right, filled with images of contemporary "construction sites", urban views, traces of buildings from the past and present. This modular unit for storing images obstructs the view of the altar and, by replacing the object of worship, becomes the artistic interface of a new cult of consumption. The artist questions the nature of the icon in our contemporary society and encourages us to reflect on the place of the spiritual and its intersection with the material.
opus incertum portrays a new reality, seeks to document episodes of urban construction, uncovers what lies behind the ostentation, reveals what is no longer seen.
opus incertum is also a tribute to the collective work and commitment of those who form society during the construction process, who ensure the transmission of methods and culture, and practice oral exchange in an exemplary show of solidarity, while remaining invisible. It’s a photography installation that promotes functional and pragmatic aesthetics. With an undeniable touch of humour, the artist invites the visitor to move these new icons–installed on warehouse trolleys–around the site, and to participate in the building work. He succeeds in creating a sublimation, an idealization of the functional.

Danielle Igniti

Curator : Danielle Igniti.

Exhibition produced by Lët’z Arles.

Publication : Danielle Igniti, Daniel Wagener, opus incertum, coedition Centre national de l’audiovisuel and Lët’z Arles.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture