“Photographers not photographers”

Joint Exhibition beyond the walls
Église Saint-Étienne, Beaugency
From 4 October to 2 November 2014
Avec les œuvres de Per Barclay, Michel François, Anne-Valérie Gasc, Jacques Monory, François Morellet, Tania Mouraud, Anne and Patrick Poirier, Nicole Tran Ba Vang

Collaboration between CCC, Tours Valimage and Town of Beaugency  

Valimage and the town of Beaugency invited the CCC, The contemporary art centre of Tours to present the exhibition “Photographers not photographers” in the Saint-Etienne church.

This exhibition will enable its viewers to discover the photographic works of nine artists known internationally in the world of contemporary art. While they all originate from different countries, are of different generations and from different artistic worlds, the common thread is that they are not photographers. They are painters, sculptors, conceptual and multimedia artists, and their work develops according to their means, concerns and artistic directions which may even be fairly far removed from issues relating to the image. Despite not being photographers, nonetheless they have produced photographic images relating to, or in parallel with, the work for which they are known, or similarly to talented amateurs, completely on the margins. These images will be shown here autonomously. What do the artists photograph? What is their relationship with the world and reality to which their photographs bear witness? What is the role, the place that photography occupies within the sum of their work? What distortions of traditional photography do their artistic practices bring to bear? In this exhibition means all these questions can be asked using a range of approaches as diverse and various as the artistic worlds and practices of those artists who are presenting their work.

The work of Norwegian artist Per Barclay (b. 1955) is based on space, and he makes installations in a wide range of locations where he covers the ground with black oil. These ‘Rooms of Oil’ become black dizzying mirrors whose sole purpose is to be photographed.

The Belgian artist Michel François (b. 1956) is primarily a sculptor. He regularly involves images in his work, particularly placing a pile of photographs in each exhibition, printed in poster format and given away to visitors. Recently he has made rare photographic prints of these images.

Anne-Valérie Gasc (b. 1975) makes multimedia projects which enable her to film deep within the heart of buildings, just as they are being demolished by complete blasting. The photographic images arising from these films mean that the infinitesimal moment of the tipping point can be seen and grasped.

Jacques Monory (b. 1942) is one of France’s great painters, linked with the Narrative Figuration movement, and his paintings depict suspended fictions taking their inspiration from the world of the film and ‘roman noir’. His personal photographs are essentially documentary material providing the viewer with all the poetry of an autobiographical visual novel.

François Morellet (b. 1926) is one of the principal representatives of geometric abstraction in France. His images are created in a confidential way, and mirror his attraction to geometric shapes which he (often humorously) draws from the real world.

Since the 1970s the work of Tania Mouraud (b. 1942) has been constantly reinventing itself, passing through mural painting, sculpture, installations, language, sound and video. His photographs are associated with ‘promenade art’ and bear witness to her observations of the world whilst remaining on the limits of abstraction.

Anne and Patrick Poirier (b. 1942) have been developing a multidisciplinary work based on interpreting archives. Photography occupies a special place in their work as they use them both to ‘observe’ and ‘record’ the transient and to capture the fragility of things.

Nicole Tran Ba Vang (b. 1963)’s background was in the world of fashion. Her images are reworked digitally to look like photographs, allowing her to redesign and redraw the body as it as it is revealed, beyond simple appearances.


Many thanks to the ‘galerie rueVisconti’, Paris, France.