Mathieu Bernard-Reymond
Possible worlds
19 06 … 19 09 2010


The worlds created by Mathieu Bernard-Reymond are grandiose and unsettling. They are the produce of an alliance between traditional silver photography and digital technology; his unusual and magical worlds reveal their mystery only over time.
« Possible worlds » at the musée Nicéphore Niépce will be the artist’s first museum exhibition. It brings together four series  « TV », « Monuments », « Disparitions » and « Vous êtes ici ».

The artist is proficient in traditional photography, the basis of all of his pieces as well as the most cutting edge technology, and he creates his imaginary environments in which man must find his own place.
He invents possible worlds, according to the criteria of a time when the border between real and virtual is for some, more and more blurred. Worlds reflected by trick photography.

The level of manipulation, however low it may be, gives a feeling of emptiness in the Disparitions series, a feeling of time stopping short: deserted countryside and architecture, characters looking toward a horizon that we can not see. Some images have been retouched, the photographer having rubbed out an element present in the original shot, sometimes a simple object. Others are untouched. Real or fiction? Lost in conjecture.

The approach taken in the Vous êtes ici series is different, insisting more on the virtuality of the image. The photograph of an individual, a tourist is used to create a landscape based on the colour of the clothes and the shapes of the model using three dimensional technology. The individual is then placed in the environment they themselves created, a lonely tourist staring at a view he created. Like romantic painting, the landscape reflects the emotions of the observer.

We now live in a screen-based world. This era began with television and continues with the internet. The power of the media image on our everyday life is obvious, many people only see the world through the deformed and partial image transmitted by their television or computer screen, as we can see in the series TV. The television screens symbolically replace windows, screen stars from fiction, entertainment and reality TV, the purveyors of falsehood, are grafted on to real nocturnal landscapes.

The Monuments series from 2005 also mixes the real with the virtual, reflecting our current economic crisis. Gigantic digitally created sculptures, the three-dimensional manifestation of the stock exchange curves of a few big firms are implanted in natural surroundings photographed by the artist. Fictional land art, Mathieu Bernard-Reymond’s interventions stigmatise the power the economy has over the world and the impact of industry on the natural world