Elegy for the Mundane


Gaël Bonnefon's photography entails a questioning of the body and its commitment. Far from a conceptual or serial photography governed by a purpose and developed through a precise discourse, what his work holds at stake is founded in an abandonment to others and to the situations he crosses. Without calculation or premeditation, the body's implication, that of the gesture and of the eye, allows encounters, draws one onto hazardous and sometimes uneven paths, on whose twists and turns an image can suddenly appear.

Surrounded by childhood's landscapes, traversed by far away horizons and populated by bodies and faces, his photography develops a map of a world at once fantasized and real, where the triviality of existence stands alongside grace in a precarious and vital balance. Landscapes, situations, faces, movements are vivaciously caught and glitter at the heart of nights. They weave the stuff of the mundane, worked like a precious substance of inestimable value. This stuff is the shroud that covers up time, the other, the world, our feelings and memories but it is also a veil that is removed and that offers the gaze fragments of truth, capturing the shadows of fears, allowing promises of happiness.

At first brutal and declining, the substance of Gaël Bonnefon's photography is just like a gaze that fears being one day extinguished and that is always looking to be born again. In photography as in love, recoil and desire, tension and easement, repetition, wandering and rest, flight and pursuit. Here photography allows itself to be traversed by flashes of life, renewed forces, echoes of far-off kindnesses and lost joys. Its sings silently, lover of a thousand faces from which the thread of a single and same image is born, followed without relent, from the snowy peaks of childhood to the lost worlds of the present.


Michaël Soyez

Translated from the French by Matilda Holloway



Elegy for the Mundane
Michaël Soyez (texte de l'exposition à la Galerie du Château d'Eau 2019)

Mélancolie du crépuscule
Sébastien Porte (Télérama n°3163)

"Elegy for the Mundane" les aspérités d'un même monde
Julien Hory (Fisheye magazine)

Entre les gens
Paul de Sorbier (texte de l'exposition, Maison Salvan)

Douceurs de la vie violente
Fabien Ribery (L'intervalle)

Elégie du quotidien
Mickaël Soyez (catalogue, Château d'eau)

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

About decline
(Texte de l'exposition / Galerie du Château d'eau)

Temps Zéro
Mina Lenvka (site web)

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, collection du Musée des Abattoirs)

59 km
Michel Métayer (Cheminements 2011)

David Chaignon

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