Until April 20, the Lyon gallery Le Réverbère brings together the works of four photographers who share similar concerns. Serge Clément, Baudoin Lotin, Julien Magre, and Bernard Plossu are all tireless gold seekers, obsessed by the Abstract poetry of the real.
The exhibition showcases as many as 85 prints, building a unique dialog between these four photographers from the four corners of the globe. While they may be separated by distance and age, they all belong to the tradition of photographic flaneurie. Following in the footsteps of Eugene Atget and Walker Evans, Saul Leiter and Luigi Ghirri, the featured images demonstrate the beauty of walking and travel—inexhaustible sources of photographic inspiration.
To seize the moment
A parted curtain, a shaft of sunlight like a luminous vanishing-point perspective against dark floorboards, a shadow falling across a face, a black cat and a white cat as the only living presences in an otherwise mineral composition: these are just a few subtle, fleeting details that elude us… A plethora of such singular moments offer themselves up to us with unexpected grace.
We recognize Serge Clément’s fondness for windows—astonishing reflective surfaces that invite visual experimentation. Take for example the image of the door of a residential building in Beauvais, transected by rhythmic lines and intricate geometric perspectives. The photographer’s eye, always attentive to minutiae, penetrates crevices, catches a fortuitous shadow falling across a flight of stairs—these are enough breathe life into the space.
How to find this “poetry of the real”? This obsession has become a driving force that compels the four photographers to travel from Mexico to France, from Naples to Tokyo, without ever forgetting that an exotic destination is no guarantee for poetry.
Although true poetry demands years of observation, it nevertheless is a fruit of chance. Scientists speak of serendipity when referring to the lucky discovery of an unexpected breakthrough, chanced upon just as one was looking for something else. Indefatigable travelers, these four photographers take us on a journey from city to city, inviting us to follow them in their quest.
By Coline Olsina
La poésie abstraite du réel. Serge Clément, Baudoin Lotin, Bernard Plossu, Julien Magre
From January 25 to April 20, 2019
Galerie Le Réverbère, 38, rue Burdeau, 69001 Lyon