The photographs of Lydia Flem

Les Photographies de Lydia Flem. The Photographs of Lydia Flem,  avec des textes de : Yves Bonnefoy, Alain Fleischer, Fabrice Gabriel, Hélène Giannecchini, Agnès de Gouvion Saint- Cyr, Donatien Grau, Ivan Jablonka, Jean- Luc Monterosso, Catherine Perret, François Vitrani, édition bilingue français/ anglais, ed. Maison européenne de la photographie, Maison de l’Amérique latine, Institut français de Berlin, 2014.

Yves Bonnefoy

“Lydia Flem’s photographs take their place within the history of photography only by inscribing a difference there. (…)

The objects photographed by Lydia Flem exist only by and through us, they are of the same kind as those she found in her parents’ home, where they asked her to be able to go on being, and that she should do so herself. This way of photographing has grasped in the thing itself the yet invisible movement whereby it withdraws into itself, and thus falls completely into this space of matter that is repressed by the places we institute but, from the depths of this abyss, reaches out to us.” (p.117 et ss)

IMG_4062.- Une bulle irisée-27 avril 2011
Une bulle irisée (Extrait de la série’L’atelier de la Reine Alice’)

Alain Fleischer

“In these images that Lydia showed me, what I was seeing was clearly visual writing, made up of a set of organised and mastered signs, with a sense of space, a sense of sign-objects, symbol-objects and trace-objects, and of the relations between them, of light and perspective. This visual writing produces a series of enigmas to be deciphered in the mysterious mode that sometimes characterises poems. I told Lydia that for me hers was the work of an authentic photographer, a case of what, with a rather inadequate formula, we in France call “photographie plasticienne.” I remember the seminal exhibition Ils se disent peintres, ils se disent photographes curated by Michel Nuridsany at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in the early 1980s. Alongside photographers who presented themselves as such there were also artists who, although working only with photography, insisted on being called painters – an attitude and a form of vanity that I have always contested. For sure, there are different families in the world of photography, but I still think that every image produced with a camera on a photographic support is above all else a photograph.” (p.133 et ss)

IMG_1559-Cassé,Rongé,Rouillé-27 octobre 2009-

Catherine Perret

“Today’s photographic images are produced by bodies that are equipped not with cameras but with computers fitted with cameras. By bodies whose perceptions are no longer dominated by the sense of vision. Freed from the analogy with vision, the photographic image refers back to a support that has no referent. Or at least, a support whose referent is no longer space seen by the eye of the lens, alias, the eye of the person operating the camera: visual space, but visible space. This space is the psychic space which refers to no real other than the fiction of life that is being invented: the fiction of the work. Only an analyst, my dear Lydia, could take this step seemingly without noticing it, so smoothly. And you are one of those artists (often women artists, as if by coincidence) who have taken photography through the mirror.”


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