Les herbes fauves de Gaël Bonnefon (Wild grass)

   "He was the only artist in the festival of 2013 not to be accommodated by a family. Gaël Bonnefon resided at the golf club in Fiac, a green and controlled place in the midst of the generous countryside of the « Pays de Cocagne ». This was a place of solitude also, for an artist who likes to comb the night seeking to encounter the urban fauna. The conditions appeared hostile for this night-walker, photographer of declining areas, urban wilderness and moments in which the human species leans over abysses.

  A series of six photos stemmed from this residency. It was a new working process, on the site itself, but also a new relationship with the landscape, which no doubt opens up a new interpretation of Gaël Bonnefon’s work. The photographs resulting from this exploration and the sharp lawns and constructed landscapes of the Fiac golf-club are worlds apart. With the help of a bottom of the range, waterproof camera, whose lens was sometimes covered by drops of water, the artist went looking for abandoned areas : here a landscape barred by an electricity pylon and a concrete construction gnawed on by vegetation, there marshy, wet areas…. These spaces seem inhabited by a force by which nature takes back its rights upon humanity. Gaël Bonnefon’s pictures have the weight of ruins, the atmosphere of a storm, the violence of a life that won’t hold within the boundaries that have been forced upon it. Such gravity surely comes from the fact that Gaël Bonnefon mistreats his photographs : they are seized, taken from the landscape, shot with bottom of the range cameras, then developed in inadequate chemical baths.

  From this photographic abduction, the artist obtains these wild and blurred grasses. Saturated by colours, green and blue, they sweat like an overflow of sap. These photographs smell like black romanticism – an out of place union between landscape art which recalls the far off avant gardes of the end of the 19th century, or even romanticism, and the art of grasping the shadowy life of things, of staging fiction in the photographic image. Throughout the festival, Gaël Bonnefon exhibited his photos on a peninsula – at the heart of the green – and on printed table mats found under the plates of the golf-club’s restaurants guests. An image imported from another project holds this work back from a solely romanticist reading and swings it elsewhere : the image of a greyhound who looks at us with a shy and black eye and whose title one reads as one would receive an undeserved slap : « Elle est où la ba-balle ?! » (Where’s the bally-ball?) Huh? Where is it? Go fetch !"

Arnaud Fourrier
 

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)