Centre Pompidou

Dove Allouche

26 Jun - 09 Sep 2013

Dove Allouche
Les Pétrifiantes, 2012
© photo: André Morin
26 June - 9 September 2013

Curator : Mnam/Cci, Jonas Storsve

The Centre Pompidou presents an exhibition of the drawings of Dove Allouche. Visual enigmas, vertiginous shadows impossible to reproduce by printing, his works play with techniques inspired by photography. The artist, who was also appointed to create Laissez-Passer 2013, sheds some light on his work.

Dove Allouche – Two years ago I purchased a box containing nine stereoscopic photographs on glass plates. I didn't know the subjects of these images: scenes from the First World War. Among these views of battle fields, attacks and mass graves... there was one which caught my attention: a double flash streaking the black night. It was the starting point for a new collection of large-size drawings. The first two, almost identical, were drawn side by side on the same paper. To use Marc Donnadieu's expression on the subject of the drawing (Le diamant d'une étoile a rayé le fond du ciel), “the second flash corresponds exactly to the flash that the eye sees at the moment when the ear perceives the sound of the first.” I continued with graphite and ink according to the same layout, before separating the left and right views on distinct media and gradually moving away from the narrative dimension of the subject and the photographic plate. Nos lignes sous les obus toxiques and Chausse-trape are the most abstract drawings which focus on the lumps of mud trampled up by the soldiers. Temporarily interrupting this series of works to devote more time to new research on the history of the physautotype (photography using lavender essence on silvered copper plate) invented by Niepce and Daguerre in 1832, I made a breakthrough in my work using chemistry. I was interested in the physautotype as a unique historic process capable of producing both negative and positive images. With the help of Jean-Louis Marignier, a chemist and a specialist in the photographic studies led by Niepce, I carried out many experiments before obtaining a first image. Then the Granulation series instantly began: thirty photographs on silver plates with the participation of the Bibliothèque de l'Observatoire de Paris. They depict the granulations and black spots on the surface of the sun published in the Atlas de Photographies Solaires by Jules Janssen in 1903. Resuming drawing, I abandoned ink and graphite in favour of metallic powders, of lamp-black and ethanol. The issue of representation became secondary: the subject was substituted by the development of an emulsion sensitive to the air, changing the drawing by evaporation then by oxidation. The Frayures drawings therefore play on a double ambiguity: the flares preceding nocturnal assaults, resembling simple gestural outlines; the presence of silver powder which crystallises the surface of the drawing and creates an inexorable darkening.

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