La Station presents
An exhibition of Joanna Rajkowska and Rémi Voche
From April 27 to June 15, 2013.
Opening on Friday April 26, 2013, from 6 PM.
Reading by Joanna Rajkowska and performance by Rémi Voche from 7 PM.
To read Joanna Rajkowska’s text : http://www.rajkowska.com/en/inne/267
To watch Rémi Voche’s performance : http://vimeo.com/65000495
For this exhibition, La Station chose to confront a photographic series by Joanna Rajkowska (Last Summer in Obersalzberg) and a selection of photographs by Rémi Voche, whose common motif seems to be the body conversing with nature. The artists stage themselves in a fully animal attitude: naked, in direct connection with the environing flora, they seem to apprehend the world on their own scale.
The title, L’Hallali (Halloo), refers us to some vulnerability: distressed, the body suffers, struggles, contortions, dominates then capitulates, just like that of the injured animal, surrounded by hunters announcing its near demise. Far from a media exposed and stereotyped image, Joanna Rajkowska and Rémi Voche pass on by their practice an idea of the world, a raw connection, sensitive to and certainly honest with things. Their photographic compositions, in which aesthetics and framing play an important role, would underlie an ontological narrative invoking a universal memory.
Both of them being performers and photographers, for this exhibition, Joanna Rajkowska and Rémi Voche present images seemingly alike. However, their dispositions and motives are very distant from each other: the former questions the perceptive changes undergone by art and its social function since the 1990’s in Eastern European countries; whereas the latter, following his encounters with his immediate environment, constructs an instinctive practice, or even incontrollable, around his own body.
A visual meeting place between these two practices, L’Hallali is thus intended to be the starting point of a reflection problematizing image typology. How can two different practices generate images seemingly answering the same precepts, and why? Opening the field of reflection beyond the image of the body, L’Hallali poses the question of the artistic discourse or maybe, simply, of our capacity for criticism.
About Joanna Rajkowska:
Born in 1968 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Joanna Rajkowska lives and works in London. Through her works (films, installations, texts, drawings, ephemeral actions, interventions in public space), she questions the perceptive changes art and its social function have undergone since the 1990’s in the Eastern Europe countries. For L’Hallali, Joanna Rajkowska chose to show a series of photographs shot in Germany in 2011: Last Summer in Obersalzberg.
Last Summer in Obersalzberg is a series of photographs taken in the woods around Berghof, Adolf Hitler and his companion, Eva Braun’s summer residence. The building no longer exists today: damaged by the British bombers in 1945, it was looted by Allied soldiers after departing SS troops set it on fire. In 1952, the German Federal government blew up the remaining of the residence in order to avoid any pilgrimages by people nostalgic of the 3rd Reich. The few remaining ruins were slowly cleaned between the 1990’s and the 2000’s.
Today, nature has repossessed the location, trees have grown and it is nearly impossible to find any traces of what was Adolf Hitler’s refuge.
This series reactivates the dark historical charge of this place, Berghof, once the Fürher’s property, now a magnificent forest. We can see naked bodies mingling with the vegetation: only the genitals are emphasized, their faces are not shown, particular focus is given to the wooded and thriving nature. Here, the human body appears vulnerable, defenseless, depersonalized, like an element of this forest, on the same level as the trees, the mushrooms surrounding it. Perceived as objects without proper value, the sexual organs are, in this series of photographs, treated like in pornography. Connecting it with pornographic representation, Last Summer in Obersaltzerg questions here the iconography of the « duty to remember. »
The artist will also present a film, Born in Berlin, (2012) in which she connects the birth of her child with Berlin’s past, thus confronting life and death.
About Rémi Voche:
Born in 1983 and graduated in 2012 from the Beaux-Arts of Nice, Rémi Voche is a nomadic artist: originally from Paris, he travels around the world and constructs his practice along with his encounters with nature and urban zone surrounding it. Photography, performance and video are his three media of predilection: he works in an instinctive manner with his own body as raw material.
As Patrice Blouin appropriately stated: « Rémi Voche (…) remains above all a long distance runner. His artistic physiology entirely holds in a rhythm, a one-two, maintained longer than average, and, according to his close friends, almost indefinitely. To the principle of this perpetual movement, a simple rule applies: everything that surrounds him, goes through him and electrifies him. He reacts to images of the world like a voltaic panel or a chlorophyll cell. » His body is thus in the center of his work as a means of self-exhaustion, and not a liturgical object.
For L’Hallali, he chose five photographs shot in 2012 and 2013: Homme tronc (Male Torso), Tropical Maladie, Vue sur Nature (View on Nature), Feu de Croisement (Crossing Lights) and Figure de Prou (Figurehead).
 Patrice Blouin, Tentative de Localisation d’un Rythme sans âge, 2012. (Attempt for the Localization of an Ageless Rhythm)