From Hand to Mouth is an attempt to push the boundaries of my photography in several directions at once conjugated with a poetic desire to approach the limits of the idea of photographic objectivity. The installation consists of one continuous 22m x 1m gelatin silver photographic print with 24 individual exposures. The print is suspended from a 7m diameter circular metallic structure, lit centrally from above. The negatives were produced by placing a piece of 35mm film directly in my mouth, using it as a camera obscura. Each exposure represents my hand touching an everyday domestic object (a chair, a telephone, a book…) printed to scale, 1:1, with the entire negative visible, including sprocket holes. The photographic surface bears witness to traces of a corporeal presence (saliva, fingerprints, etc.) doubly emphasizing an indexical relationship, a physical connection with the real.
The installation quotes an historical form, the nineteenth-century panorama, paring it down, removing its traditional devices for concealing artifice in order to ask other questions of it, as archetype. Instead of finding the meticulously delimited space of the trompe-l'oeil, here one is invited to move about, inside and outside of a very large-scale print, exploring its materiality laid bare as a simple piece of photographic paper in all its fragility. This hesitation between representation and object is echoed in the semantic ambiguity of the work's title which evokes both an idiomatic expression connoting a lack of means, the possession of only the bare essentials, and at the same time denotes the idea of measurement, literalizing of the distance "from hand to mouth".
Installation. Continuous black and white analog silver print 2200 x 100 cm, Metal structure (built by Guillaume Reynard), diameter 7m, theater lights
- Acquisition by the Amis du Centre Pompidou. Exhibited in the permanent collection (4th floor) of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, October 2020 - April 2021
- The Spaces of the Image, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, Maison de la culture Frontenac, Montreal, Canada, 2009
- Pinholes, Museet For Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark, 1996
- The American Center, Paris, France, 1995
- Le Mois de la Photo Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrelle, Paris, France, 1994
- Gilles La Hire Les Inrockuptibles, avril 1995
- Hervé Le Goff Télérama, 17 mai 1995
- yann beauvais Document announcing the exhibition at the American Center, Paris, 1995
- Gaëlle Morel, The Spaces of the Image, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, 2009
- Thomas Y Levin CTRL [SPACE] Rhetorics of surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother, 2002
- Nathalie Boulouch Enretien, Le Bulletin de la Société Française de Photographie, n° 7, Février 2000
- Barbara Tannery Interview, Katalog - Quarterly magazine for photography, Spring 1996
- Centre Pompidou, Paris, acquisition 2020