Is Edouard Taufenbach a filmmaker who missed his calling? Looking at his photographic tableaus, it is hard, in any case, to forget that he studied cinema: Taufenbach excels at animating the still image thanks to a skillful interplay of cutouts, compositions, and collages. While the result is different every time, the same process is systematically repeated from one series to the next: digitization of images, search for visual juxtapositions on the computer, followed by handmade collages as well as, in the early series, painting. This means anywhere from a few minutes to whole days or even weeks of work… “The level of attention and concentration necessary in this last phase certainly has something liberating about it,” commented the artist.
Edouard Taufenbach is not the creator of the images he works with, with the exception of those made for his ongoing project carried out with the musician Régis Camp as part of the photography award Swiss Life 4 Mains. Over the years, Taufenbach has accumulated some 150,000 vernacular photos, the raw material for his series with such evocative titles as Faire du Souvenir une Forme [Turning Memory Into Form] (2014) and Cinéma: Histoires Doméstiques [Cinema: Domestic Stories] (2016).
In Spéculaire, a work in progress since 2018, he draws for the first time on a private collection—one belonging to the film director Sébastien Lifshitz. “In this series, in contrast to my earlier work, we first see the content of the images, and only then the form,” Taufenbach explained. Less formal, the works composing Spéculaire are no less powerful since the artist manages to dilate space and time while disorienting the viewer. With little to hold on to, we are invited to contemplate… And therein we find the greatest pleasure.
By Sophie Bernard
Edouard Taufenbach, L’Image dans le Miroir, 34 collages based on Sébastien Lifshitz’s collection, 78 pp, Éditions L’Artiere, €55
Exhibition at Galerie Binome
Au bout du plongeoir, le grand bain (Douglas Mandry, Laurence Aëgerter, Anaïs Boudot), June 2 to August 1, 2020, 19, rue Charlemagne, 75004 Paris