Isabelle Arthuis

16 Oct – 18 Dec. 2010

By displaying on the ground floor of the gallery two photographs of five meters on three meters and of two meters and two, Isabelle Arthuis immediately creates a connection between the visitor and the  physical image before being only visual. Illuminated by a light revealing only the granite surfaces emerging from the dark night of the sea, these images of rocks might be sculptures or architectural structures. At the bottom of these structures, the eye is lost without any  possible hindsigth in the detailed unevenness of the rock, superimposed on the weave of the offset print. Stretching the format to a monumental size, Isabelle Arthuis inspires a quasi-fantastical or fantasmagorical reading of these mysterious mineral landscapes, which refer in turn to a Böcklin painting or a short story by Herman Melville.

In the lower hall of the gallery, Isabelle Arthuis projects a trio of films shot over the past seven years
against all odds.
Begun in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2003, the project focuses on nocturnal landscapes lit by powerful 2000 watt spotlights and filmed in 16 mm off Rio in the reefs of the Atlantic Ocean. Later continued in digital on Brittany's coast of Locquemeau (Côtes d'Armor) and Torch (Finistère), the film is in the form of a triptych in black and white where the three screens create an Exquisite Corpse that constructs a natural
as well as fictional history. Warm horizons in the distant meet close-ups of rock surfaces, interspersed with the faces of Brazilian and Breton fishermen as well as the abrupt jumps of divers submerged in the dark, bubbling abyss of the sea. "Shipwreckers are a metaphor for life and refer to marine mythologies. It is a glance at the sea of infinite dimension, tragic and wonderful. " (Isabelle Arthuis)
Next to that installation, Isabelle Arthuis has chosen to isolate the area from the canopy to hang an overhead light on a sery of fifteen photographs printed on paper made Barythé and relised in the same way to the film shooting. Taken with significant exposure time, sometimes up to several minutes, these photographs reveal all the lights in the night, invisible to the naked-eye, and upset bandmarks and scales the rocky coast, deceiving the eyes and the conscience for dragging them in a late-nigth sinking.

The film "Reap" was made possible by a grant from the Plastic Arts Delegation of the Ministry of Culture and Communication (Research allowance and living abroad) with the participation of Cécile Bourne, Chooseone association, Paris. It was shot first in Brazil in collaboration with the Ecole Film Niteroi and the Brazilian Ministry of Culture (Production: Capacete / Helmut Batista, Rio de Janeiro, Production Assistants: Zaba Azevedo, Reinaldo Santana, Marcello basins). The second shooting in Britain has enjoyed the support of Itininéraires Bis / Gallery Dourven and Stempel in Brussels (Production: Didier Lamandé Cameraman: Michel Balagué, Sound: Julie Brenta, Assistant to the shooting: Erwan Mahéo). The post production was done at Brussels Stempel (Julien Sigalas) with Michel Balaguer (image editing), Julie Brenta (sound editing) and Loup Brenta (calibration).