Staging the scene : Patrick Beaulieu, Jakub Dolejš, Karine Giboulo, Dina Goldstein, Jonathan Hobin, Holly King, Laurent Lamarche, Nicholas & Sheila Pye, Diana Thorneycroft, Henri Venne
The history of photography continues to oscillate between two poles. On one hand, the exploration of reality which it naturally seems predestined for and on the other staging, invention, imagination, visible through striking references to painting and theater. – Alain Nahum.
Photographers included in Staging the Scene build complex mise-en-scenes in which each item is carefully positioned. Testifying of the greatness of their ability to manipulate and juxtapose several artistic disciplines, the creation time required for the production of their work is certainly not alike the immediacy usually attributed to photography. It is rather closer to the hard work of craftsmanship. What actually defines these artists as photographers is an understanding of light and composition that give their works a nearly cinematic magnetism.
The photographs that result from this primary effort are fascinating by of their special relationship to the real and the fictional. In fact, many do not seek to hide the artificiality of their work, but rather to reveal and in some cases even to emphasize and question it. The theatrical nature of their photographic mise-en-scenes reflects the ontological character of art as construction and more specifically to our relation to photography, to the incapacity to really inhabit it because it is always merely a trace of the past, a background onto which our thoughts can manifest themselves.