Elegy for the mundane
(About decline, exhibition catalogue, Château d’eau galery)

"Eyes open on the unsteadiness of a race, hold your breath, passing through rooms of solitude the horizon balks, the step falters. A reeling world reflects upon the eye. Only in gasping flight can you grasp at an understanding ; stop somewhere only to accept uncertainties, forever pushed to the brink of your weakness. Gazes shout out to us, savage, absorbed in the contemplation of their own emptiness, imperfect gestures take shape, cries smother themselves in the opaqueness of a deaf world. Taking part in the mechanics of downfall, Gaël Bonnefon's photographic gesture freezes the exhaustion of these idle nights with tenacity. Drawn in by the never ending turmoil he participates in this cycle in which everything dies and is reborn over and over again. Practicing a head-on hunt without concession, damaging the scenes he comes across, animal-like, he insolently scours the mundane in order to reveal its irreversibility, pointing out it's rules and workings. Giving in to the tireless scansion of shelled nights, his pupil sharpens and his body is urged on.

« Only in his own emptiness does he find composure, ignoring where the path he recognizes through others tracks leads, knowing nothing more about why he has engaged it with such presumption or even if obstinately following it he will have any chance of ending up at the yet unsuspected place of his destination. » (Louis René Des Forêts – Ostinato).

Gaël Bonnefon's practice tests this spiral through his never-ending search for intensity, breaking through dead ends, passing through a world of decay in which each picture tries to take a new step forward on the wire of a reality that constantly threatens to snap and reunite with its fantasized double.

Straddling drama and day to day life it's not about « trying to be the hero of [one's] own history, [but seeking] to be the spectator of [one's] own tragedy. » (Oscar WildeDeprofundis) as, drowsy, we waver between one place and it's chimerical echo, between a face and it's fictional, disparate double. The scenery could burn to ashes, the living could retreat into nothingness, the trees may seem to lie and the light corrupt space. Here, experiencing the world as twofold is to consent to it's alteration as well as that of the boundaries that separate oneself from the other and reality from fiction. Wired up, the colors of the world struggle to contain bodies, the conflict of declining tones wear out borders. The image is damaged by it's own content. This dream world has a skin over who's interior movements these pictures chew, as a painter the photographer introduces his own body, participating in the event, inscribing himself in the pictures' draft, his eyes becoming flesh.

« We do not die, it is the world that leaves us ». (Edward Munch. The tree of wisdom for better or for worse)

The outstanding vitality and daily vigilance that pursuing decline calls for constantly concerns itself with the ramparts of disappearance and implys an urgency only effective on the condition of playing to lose, jumping for the fall, attempting only for the taste of failure. It is about standing before the void which looms between the world and oneself, on the brink of weakness. « There exists only one slowly dying world before another, reborn in fabulous color only to darken and return as it must to a state of nothingness ».(Louis René Des Forêts – Ostinato). A struggle exerts against this chasm which sucks in a universe animated by it's own half light and above which these beings of irreparable fate hover. Gestures subsist from this fate, bodies stand tall, pictures are made, thwarting the deaf operations of existence, obstinately looking to reveal one image in the inventory of the world, that of a lost presence".
Mickaël Soyez
Translated from the French by Matilda Holloway

Melancholia of crépuscule
Sébastien Porte (Télérama n°3163)

Entre les gens
Paul de Sorbier (exhibition text, Maison Salvan)

Elegy for the mundane
Mickaël Soyez (catalogue, Château d'eau)

Une poétique de l'accident
L'intervalle (Entretien par Fabien Ribery)

About decline
(Exhibition text / Château d'eau gallery)

Temps Zéro
Mina Lenvka (website)

Elle est où la baballe?
Olivier Michelon (catalogue, Afiac 2013)

Les herbes fauves
Arnaud Fourrier (catalogue, Afiac 2013)

About decline - fragments -
François Saint-Pierre (Notice, Abattoirs Museum collection)

59 km
Michel Métayer (Cheminements 2011)

L'entraînement
David Chaignon

About decline
Marine Eric (Jeune création exhibition, Le Centquatre)