Whether extraterrestrial presence or scientific experiments, the geometric shapes of Reuben Wu's new series propel us into a paranormal universe. The multi-talented British artist (Reuben Wu is also a filmmaker and musician) had already surprised the audience with his series Lux Noctis, which displayed futuristic and apocalyptic looking landscapes overhung by strange circles of light. With Aeroglyphs, he once again explores the use of the drone to create images with a fascinating and uncanny atmosphere.
Here the Moon circle gives way to perfect geometric shapes. More than a simple shape game, these images are part of a strong visual story.
They can evoke Courbet's painted marines as well as Le Gray's photographed ones, the Land Art of the 1970s, James Turrel's "Perceptual Cell" or science fiction films.
Grasping the elusive
Experimented since the end of the 19th century, light painting has been part of the history of photography, through the work of Etienne-Jules Marey, Man Ray and Picasso. Halfway between drawing and performance, this technique gives substance to the ephemeral and produces images that are both graphic and unreal.
Using a drone equipped with a Fiilex AL250 projector, Reuben Wu reactivates this photographic genre, making this new technology the tool and subject of his images. "Through the use of light, I was looking for a more modern way of interaction and creation within nature," says the artist.
An heir of Land Art, as he claims, Reuben Wu says he practices a non-invasive art in which nature remains unspoilt. These seemingly simple images require careful preparation and optimal conditions: twilight light, long exposure time, perfect coordination between the choreography of the drone and the shooting, calm seas, favourable weather for a starry sky... All these parameters highlight the technical challenge that these images represent.
A disturbing strangeness
Reuben Reuben Wu conceives photography as an exploration tool that can depict the immensity and beauty of landscapes. In his photographs, he transforms real landscapes into fantastic scenery and thus gives us the impression of observing a distant planet. Familiar with the aesthetic concept of the sublime, which associates the contemplation of nature with a feeling of fear and respect, his images oscillate between a sense of familiarity and that disturbing strangeness inherent in surrealist works.
These luminous apparitions are mysterious. Is a supernatural presence trying to communicate? The title "Aeropglyps" seems to suggest a new form of language, an alphabet from elsewhere: extraterrestrial hieroglyphics or first contact with a parallel world? By mixing the codes of science fiction and romantic painting, Reuben Wu develops, over the course of his series, a personal and original photographic signature. It renews our eye experience and our perception of nature.
By Coline Olsina