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Absences

Absences, 1984-1985

Bernard Borgeaud
  • Artist (1945)

Bernard Borgeaud (born in 1945 in Périllos) is both a photographer and a painter.  His work is about the “simple things” of our daily reality, things, as he says, “which we can be blind to throughout our lives.  Our eye is unable to see them, because no image has yet declared them.  They only exist in the limbo of our vision.  And, paradoxically, the things that are closest to us, the most banal and everyday things, thus remain hidden.” (Bernard Borgeaud, August 1980, a text distributed for the 11th Paris Biennial).  In his early days, between 1969 and 1975, the artist took photographs of ephemeral installations and performances which he produced outdoors, and presented in the form of image sequences.  Between 1975 and 1994, he produced photographic installations made up of 30 to 40 juxtaposed elements (Aurore sans fin/Endless Dawn, 1987) which involved two essential notions for him, the scale and the body of the spectator.  Using architectural fragments, marginal places, grey skies, etc…., the artist makes photographic series which he juxtaposes on the wall, following special plans, and taking as a reference the exhibition venue and the human body.  The many different viewpoints and the absence of any centre in his work gives the spectator the possibility to grasp the work in complete freedom.  Since the 1990s, he has been transferring this photographic experience into monumental drawings and paintings which still attest to his desire to “involve an act which was at once an intervention and a possession of reality, which faced the spectator by keeping to the wall, and holding the wall.”  Bernard Borgeaud’s work has been shown in many galleries and museums:  City of Paris Museum of Modern Art, the Bern Kunsthalle, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography…

Nadine Labedade