From April 14th 2000 to May 20th 2000 Dessins d’eau submergés
Each of these photographs is based on a submerged drawing of waves. The drawing gets lost in and blends with the water; the lines seem to resurface and follow the movement of the waves. The drawn waves are underlined and enhanced as well as broken by the actual swirl of the water. We are no longer sure if the Image has improved or deteriorated.
The effect of the water on the drawing is repeated in the shot itself: the exposure, a bit slow for the speed of the waves, captures the continuously distorted lines in the drawing. This trace of the waves’ movement further changes the drawing without our being able to determine once again if the image has been debased or not. We can no longer tell the drawing from its water transformed shape, and the latter from its own photographic trace.
An object seen through (or reflected in) water gives us, in as much as we already knew this object, the measure of the gap between its normal aspect and its transformed image. Such effects are visible everywhere, and are often computer-generated. I have chosen to keep only the desire for measurement generated by this type of image. Here, the original drawing cannot be found again. The desire remains, however, even becoming necessary to understand this work composed of connections and disconnections between its painterly and photographic properties. Because their measuring cannot be accomplished, the work can only begin to capture their motion. One should understand that movement occurs in the gaze. The desire to capture the gap triggers the gaze towards something, without it covering any distance, without it being able to retrieve the object that preceded the photograph. Because it follows the same logic as its object, because it has a quantitative effect on it, the documentation can no longer be separated from what it documents. What is photographed does not manage to establish itself as something outside the image that stands before our eyes.
Alexandre David was born in 1964 in Montréal where he lives and works. He studied at Concordia University, and did his master’s studies at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, England, from 1988 to 1990. His work has been shown in group exhibitions, among other sites at the Serpentine Gallery and The Tannery in London, England, at the Stedelijk Museum and the Het Consortium Gallery in Amsterdam. He has had solo exhibitions at artist-run centres Obscure et Vu in Québec City, at Vox and Galerie Rochefort in Montréal, as well as the Hales Gallery in London, England. His work intersects with photography, sculpture and painting. He has been teaching at Université Laval since 1991.
- Lamarche, Bernard, «Un tête-à-tête compulsif», Le Devoir, 6-7 mai 2000, p.D6.
- Mavrikakis, Nicolas, «Sens dessus dessous», Voir, 11-17 mai 2000, p.82.