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19 August 2009

Eric Rondepierre – Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles 2009

Presented by Louis Mesplé. Journalist, critic and photography commentator on the rue89 website, former artistic director of Rencontres Africaines of Bamako. Artistic director of the Rencontres d’Arles from 1991 to 1993.

The movie theatre is a place ‘where the real world changes into a mere image’, and where ‘mere images become real beings’—a social-hallucination venue where ‘the failure of the faculty of encounter’ (Guy Debord) is organised. Eric Rondepierre attends to these ‘real beings’ in order to restore the conditions for a possible encounter. He organises the ‘spectator’s revenge’, grabbing images from the flow of featurelength fictions, and not working on them. Slow-motion, freeze-frame, theft by extraction, repurposing. He kneads the cinematographic matter to yield archaic violence, disturbing strangeness or unwitting humour. He extracts only the 24th of a second that testifies to a novel encounter between the film image and parasitical marginal elements that displace it beyond its sphere of influence. Then a ‘critical’ project takes shape, in several series. It may involve the secret, unexpected rapport between a black photogram and subtitling (Excédents), be tween a film image and the advertising text of trailer title-sequences (Annonces), or accidents (spots, erasures) due to the film’s corrosion (Moires). Or involve a reframing between two photograms (Suites). Or their juxtaposition with a text from one of his books used as a screen (Loupe/dormeurs). Or images from his everyday life (Agendas), which he combines with film images (Parties communes). Each heterogeneous element is incorporated into the economy of the filmic image in order to renew its meaning and status. He thus ‘unveils’ other images —images which, by their ‘high-density symbolic presence () subjugate the imaginary radiance of the cinema’ (Thierry Lenain).

Évence Verdier

Prints by DUPON Digital Lab.

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