ELENA GIULIA ABBIATICI: It’s interesting to expose “In search of Eternity in Cairo”, because it’s a city where life and death always coexist in everyday life, and it seems that they accept death in a very natural way, as it was for our ancestors. They do not take care so much of things to prevent accidents and so on.
The sensation of eternity in your video works series is something really dictated by your use of the camera (horizontal, slow, many frames by second) and by your way to edit the sequence of images. Why did you start working on this issues and how did you arrive to adopt this video technique, starting from photography that it is always a frozen image of life (or death maybe)?
LUCIE DE BARBAUT & SIMON BRODBECK: he project was originally inspired by an ancient Sioux belief (Native American) that considers that the spirits of the dead continue to live among us between the Earth and the sky.
We have always been very interested in the representation of souls and spirits in our work, and this way of imagining the world was striking to us. So we decided to find a way to put this immaterial point of view into image and came up with the idea of a camera that would float across cities and populations in a time different from the one we know, frozen, without being seen.
As usual, we explored many different techniques until we found an interesting use of the video camera, that would resemble Photography in a way. What interests us is that by seing the world from this point of view, we are also on the line that separates still and moving images, which are our two mediums of expressions. It looks like we are exploring a never ending photograph, that would keep some sort of movement here and there.
Then as you mentioned, what interests us is to construct a symbolic story in each different chapter and city, using references to movies, poetry, music or the history of the places in order to build a narrative. After Paris, Japan and Mumbai, we would love to shoot a new chapter in Egypt next year. That would make so much sense to enrich the project.
LUCIE DE BARBAUT & SIMON BRODBECK form a duo of visual artists working with photography and video. Working together since 2005 in Paris, they are graduates from the Ecole nationale superieure de la Photographie, and were boarders of the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici 2016-2017. Their large format color works question the representation of reality through the exploration of time and space.
Recipients of the HSBC Award for Photography in 2010, they were awarded the Prix Jeune creation 2013, the Grand Prix international de la photographie de Vevey and the Prix de la Bourse du talent in 2009.
Their works have been showcased in solo shows including the Fotomuseum Antwerpen, the Maison europeenne de la Photographie, the Villa Medici, French Academy in Rome, the Institut français du Japon, The Chimney New-York; and group shows including the Grand Palais, the Kunsthalle Munich, the Venice Arsenale, the Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles, the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, the Festival Images Vevey and the Kowall+Oddermat projects space in Miami. Their works are included in numerous private and public collections including the FMAC, Fonds municipal d’Art contemporain, the Bibliothèque nationale de France; the Museum of Photography Antwerpen, the Museum of Photography Thessaloniki, the Jenisch Museum of Fine Arts, the Pavillon populaire, the Nestlé collection for Contemporary Art, the HSBC collection for Photography, the Centre interregional de conservation et restauration du patrimoine.
Something Else – Off Biennale Cairo
(Chief Curator: Simon Njami; Direzione artistica: Moataz Nasr)
Polyptoton / πολύπτωτον
curated by Elena Giulia Abbiatici
Opening: 1 Novembre 2018
1 Novembre – 15 Dicembre 2018
Brodbeck & De Barbaut, Sara Enrico, Ryts Monet, Mariagrazia Pontorno, Marta Roberti, Serj, Emilio Vavarella