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20 August 2009

Adrien Missika – Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles 2009

Presented by Michel Nuridsany. Journalist, artistic director of the Rencontres d’Arles in 1995.


The photographic installation Space Between (2007–2009) comprises diverse images: some taken from documentaries or archives, others made from scratch, and even some downloaded or rephotographed. There are photographs of a meteorite made from Sagex, fake craters on Mars, a contre-jour against a vinyl tarpaulin which produces the illusion of a sun rising over a peaceful sea. This series confronts our desire for knowledge with views of an artificial or real world. The images offer practically no spatio-temporal reference points. The story could be happening here or on another planet, now or in the distant future. Here and there, a few human traces are shown (a spiralling road, a concrete circle) but remain too enigmatic for us to situate them in time or space.

The project is hung as a set of photographs which are of different sizes but printed and framed in the same way. The hanging confuses the viewer by adding some real shots among the staged ones. In this fiction-in-images, no hierarchy is established among the materials found, made or shot on-site. The images are thus linked like a comic strip. As its name indicates, the show explores the space between images and objects (their relationship to the way they are hung and to the exhibition space) and the space between the images themselves. All of these photographs are thus merged along the same vertical plane, combined into one story.

Adrien Missika’s work—investigations of archetypes, the world as dystopia and graphic representation—’derealises’ reality and then imitates it artificially in the studio. It is also a way to encourage discussion of photography as a medium and its ability to show the truth.

Adrien Missika

Adrien Missika is represented by Blancpain Art Contemporain Gallery, Genevia.

Exhibition venue: Grande Halle, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2009.