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Artist presented by le Point du Jour

Lynne Cohen

4 July - 18 September

10H00 - 19H30

Lynne Cohen’s images focus systematically on interiors without people, deploying a rigorous minimalism that contrasts often with kitsch settings and sometimes with some incongruous detail or incomprehensible relationship between objects. The harder you look, the more you feel a sneaking disquiet: firstly because of the physical constraints implicit in the places shown, and then because of the images themselves, with their mixed intimations of equipment catalogues and art installations. These frontal, imposingly framed shots always have a hidden secret: something utterly trivial or very serious seems camouflaged inside them, just as the pictures themselves seem like camouflage—but of what intentions, and what realities?
David Barriet, David Benassayag, Béatrice Didier
For over thirty years Lynne Cohen has been photographing living rooms, men’s clubs, classrooms, bath-houses and army bases. She could be a collector searching all these places for some unique item, but a collector with little or no interest in origin or authenticity: Cohen prefers not to say where her photographs have been taken, a tactic that heightens their factitious sameness.
Yet once framed and on the wall, each of these sites lifted out of the material world becomes the locus of a potential drama. Hung lower than usual, the images could be windows we might accidentally pass through, like Alice and the mirror. The openings letting in artificial light, the neon rectangles like opaque skylights, and the real or supposed reflections— all these contribute to this overall impression of mise en abyme. In this world imagined by human beings, nothing is on a human scale: what giant or dwarf could find its place in this weird room with a red thread running across a synthetic lawn? Dummies, painted animals, a family of black submarines enjoying a stroll and a group of white armchairs taking a break are among the few residents. The numbers, maps and screens are clear indicators of an underlying surveillance or mercantile rationale, but this big brother element provokes no denunciation from Lynne Cohen: it is through her wielding of black humour and incongruity that all the norms are at one little stroke slyly subverted.
David Barriet, David Benassayag, Béatrice Didier
Lynne Cohen’s images focus systematically on interiors without people, deploying a rigorous minimalism that contrasts often with kitsch settings and sometimes with some incongruous detail or incomprehensible relationship between objects. The harder you look, the more you feel a sneaking disquiet: firstly because of the physical constraints implicit in the places shown, and then because of the images themselves, with their mixed intimations of equipment catalogues and art installations. These frontal, imposingly framed shots always have a hidden secret: something utterly trivial or very serious seems camouflaged inside them, just as the pictures themselves seem like camouflage—but of what intentions, and what realities? 

David Barriet, David Benassayag, Béatrice Didier

For over thirty years Lynne Cohen has been photographing living rooms, men’s clubs, classrooms, bath-houses and army bases. She could be a collector searching all these places for some unique item, but a collector with little or no interest in origin or authenticity: Cohen prefers not to say where her photographs have been taken, a tactic that heightens their factitious sameness.Yet once framed and on the wall, each of these sites lifted out of the material world becomes the locus of a potential drama. Hung lower than usual, the images could be windows we might accidentally pass through, like Alice and the mirror. The openings letting in artificial light, the neon rectangles like opaque skylights, and the real or supposed reflections— all these contribute to this overall impression of mise en abyme. In this world imagined by human beings, nothing is on a human scale: what giant or dwarf could find its place in this weird room with a red thread running across a synthetic lawn? Dummies, painted animals, a family of black submarines enjoying a stroll and a group of white armchairs taking a break are among the few residents. The numbers, maps and screens are clear indicators of an underlying surveillance or mercantile rationale, but this big brother element provokes no denunciation from Lynne Cohen: it is through her wielding of black humour and incongruity that all the norms are at one little stroke slyly subverted.

David Barriet, David Benassayag, Béatrice Didier

Exhibition produced with the collaboration of the James Hyman Gallery in London, of the galerie In Situ / Fabienne Leclerc in Paris
and of Le Point du Jour.
Exhibition produced with the collaboration of the James Hyman Gallery in London, of the galerie In Situ / Fabienne Leclerc in Paris and of Le Point du Jour.