Edition 2009

presented by LOUIS MESPLÉ


ERIC RONDEPIERRE OR THE IMAGE (THAT) NEVER ENDS. Eric Rondepierre’s pictures are fascinating because they are never-ending. Let us be clear: by never-ending I mean that their construction, references, intimations and inventions open infinitely more doors than Lemmy Caution in Alphaville. Any Rondepierre image is a script within a script. Symbols refer to symbols, producing a cascade of meanings and adding to the overall narrative. Firstly, the film: a fragment of film, a photogram, an orphan abandoned by the projector, a scrap of damaged gelatine or debris which only just contains the last traces of a story. Rondepierre works like an archaeologist, investigating the sources of matter and the subject—an authentic re-run. Then begins the photogram’s transmutation from something more or less rejected or relegated into a shiny, complex, highly contemporary photograph. This shift involves cross-research, couplings of different expressions and media: dance, theatre, painting, film and photography, of course, but mainly literature. As part of the same process he uses ordinary everyday photographs and does not shy away from the digital format. Ultimately all Rondepierre’s works form series in which fiction and humour are the vital narrative springboards for a plunge into the never-ending image.
 Louis Mesplé
The movie theatre is a place ‘where the real world changes into a mere image’, and where ‘mere images become real beings’—a social-hallucination venue where ‘the failure of the faculty of encounter’ (Guy Debord) is organised. Eric Rondepierre attends to these ‘real beings’ in order to restore the conditions for a possible encounter. He organises the ‘spectator’s revenge’, grabbing images from the flow of featurelength fictions, and not working on them. Slow-motion, freeze-frame, theft by extraction, repurposing. He kneads the cinematographic matter to yield archaic violence, disturbing strangeness or unwitting humour. He extracts only the 24th of a second that testifies to a novel encounter between the film image and parasitical marginal elements that displace it beyond its sphere of influence. Then a ‘critical’ project takes shape, in several series. It may involve the secret, unexpected rapport between a black photogram and subtitling (Excédents), be tween a film image and the advertising text of trailer title-sequences (Annonces), or accidents (spots, erasures) due to the film’s corrosion (Moires). Or involve a reframing between two photograms (Suites). Or their juxtaposition with a text from one of his books used as a screen (Loupe/dormeurs). Or images from his everyday life (Agendas), which he combines with film images (Parties communes). Each heterogeneous element is incorporated into the economy of the filmic image in order to renew its meaning and status. He thus ‘unveils’ other images —images which, by their ‘high-density symbolic presence (…) subjugate the imaginary radiance of the cinema’ (Thierry Lenain).
 Évence Verdier

Prints by DUPON Digital Lab.

  • 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