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Indepth Arts News:

"Julien Collieux: Ordinaire to Poetic"
2006-04-28 until 2006-06-24
Dagmar de Pooter Gallery
Antwerp, , BE Belgium

Julien Collieux's (1976 France, Lives and Works in Berlin) work shines new light through old windows. He takes the ordinary, the everyday and transforms it into something poetical. In his hands, the barrel-organ‚s sheets of holey paper, the music box‚s simplistic mechanism and even the classical format A4 are stripped of their limitations and are imbued with new life. In little over one century, "canned" music has gone from the music box to MP3; the image from A4 to pixels and d.p.i. That these are issues fueling this young Frenchman's work is evident in his work.

But Collieux does not remain alone in all this. His installations, as well as his photographs directly involve his audience. While in the former his family,friends and gallery-goers are brought into direct contact with his work through active participation in the realization process, the latter engages the viewer through an unsuspected familiarity.

Purposefully subverting all classical standard dimensions, Collieux‚s work is ˆamongst other thingsˆ an ode to the A4. There is no special hi-tech procedure needed to print his photographs: an ordinary PC and printer suffice. Every A4-page is as necessary as the next, and since each is the same size there is no hierarchy.

In his photographs these are pieced together on a simple grid to make one huge image. While from a distance the edges of each A4 are not immediately visible, the simplicity of the production method is never hidden from the viewer. He has successfully demystified the surface of the image; and in an honest attempt to affect the spectator, has left these over-sized photographic images without the gloss that nowadays turns so much lack-lustre photography into art. Ironically, it is precisely this nanometer-thick covering, which lends a shine that shrouds the image, conceals, hides the truth as unconcealment and attracts magpies. Since dimensions can also estrange and distract the viewer, Collieux chooses the A4, which alone or in combination, resonates a deep sense of familiarity: we do not feel overwhelmed, but quietly moved by the human-figures-turned-persons.

Image we represent to our vision are always whole. We see the big picture. Similarly, in his event-installations single moments (e.g. tones) are grasped and pieced together by consciousness in an effort to "make sense" of what we perceive (e.g. hear). It is an act driven by the familiarity of situations, hymns or anthems and always transmitted through the movement of people (text by David Ulrichs).


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