Olivier Richon, Fotografie 1989–2004
The exhibition comprises three distinct bodies of work: Studium, Allegories and Imitatio Sapiens. It uses photography as a form of quotation, citing well-known works such as Dürer's Rhinoceros and Saenredam's church interiors, or alluding to genres in a less explicit way.
The photographic work aims to comment upon images from the history of Western art. In this context, photography is used as a medium of representation and reproduction, in the manner of a digestive apparatus.
As the photographic record in Olivier Richon's portfolio demonstrates, his photographic practice is grounded in a non-naturalistic use of the medium. It contributes to what the critic André Bazin referred to as the baroque impulse of photography, which produces signs of a petrified and preserved nature. The work therefore proposes a new formulation of this baroque impulse, using objects, light and materials which construct visual analogies referring to the folding and unfolding of signs. The practice is accompanied by an essay, in A Devouring Eye, in which Richon attempts to theorise the link between looking, eating and the photographic image.