EXCEPT THE CLOUDS BY BÉRANGÈRE FROMONT
EXHIBITION OCT 2019 LONDON
Curated and produced by Mina Raven, the exhibition takes place at Offshoot Gallery. The show introduces the work and the book Except The Clouds by French visual artist Bérangère Fromont.
Combining different photographic approaches, geometrical and graphic compositions, and techniques to produce allegorical imagery, Bérangère brings us to a philosophical contemplation of chaos, enhancing the notion of resistance present in each of us.
EXCEPT THE CLOUDS
Reasons to resist have changed with time and place. Each fight is different, but the idea remains the same. Living in uncertain times insinuates an urge for the human to resist or to revolt.
In the series Except the Clouds, the future seems to have collapsed into an indeterminate present. Within the narrative, a portrait of a young Athenian appears as the symbol of a young generation unable to predict a future based on the past.
Greece was the worst affected economically during the European crisis that happened at the end of 2009. For many Greeks, especially the young - the years of economic hardship proved severe. In 2014 the unemployment rate peaked at 27.5%, but for those under 25, it was 61.4%. People’s despair and frustrations eventually progressed onto the streets, rioting in an act against the government, as they suffered considerable spending cuts, high taxes and repeatedly slashed salaries and pensions.
This vibrant disorder contrasting with the vestiges of the old acropolis of Athens, cradle of democracy and foundation of western civilisation, offers a fecund space of reflection for the artist.
Athens is an oxymoron-city. Its flamboyant mythological heritage coexists with its dark and dramatic political-economic situation. Its sun shines with a thousand lights but crushes its streets. It is a blinding light that reveals its violence and its twilight faces. And yet we feel a life force much more intense than elsewhere. The idea of resistance takes on its full meaning. Bodies tirelessly rise up to face the chaos of history as one. In permanent revolution.
My project is to give an account of this oxymoron in images, but also of the complexity of the contemporary in its different temporal layers.
With this phrase of Walter Benjamin always in mind, as an invisible and obsessive thread, seek light in the ruins of Attica:
'In a landscape where nothing was recognizable, except the clouds, and in the middle, in a field of forces crossing tensions and destructive explosions, the tiny and fragile human body.'
Except the Clouds is a work on Athens but not only. It is above all a reflection on the place of the human in a civilisation and its fragility.
DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE HERE
Except the Clouds Book - Published by Void Photo in 2018
Berangere Fromont is a visual artist based in Paris.
She first studied film and literature at the Sorbonne before deepening her photographic practice with photographers such as Claudine Doury and Antoine d’Agata.
Her intimate, collective and literary references, as well as her documentary and staged images, are articulated around a central and recurrent idea in her work: resistance.
She puts forward a poetic research on fragility – the elusive dance of fireflies in the midst of darkness – against a scary and chaotic vision of the modern world. Innocence as a fleeting sign of humanity. She focuses on what is indefinite or incomplete, fragile, and intermediate; both disappearance and appearance; between ruins and evolution.
Her work has been exhibited worldwide, including festivals such as Noorderlicht (The Netherlands), Circulation(s), Manifesto, the 'Boutographies', the 'Prix de la Maison Blanche', the Busan International Photography Festival, Photonai, Photo Saint-Germain, the PhotoBookFest and at the Contemporary Art Centre of Nîmes, and has been featured in various web and paper publications (ASX, i-D Magazine, Der Greif, die Nacht, Co-curate, BKN, The Smell of Dust III, Hunger II).
Her published work includes ‘Cosmos’ (André Frère, 2017), ‘I don’t want to disappear completely’ (September books, 2018) and ‘Except the Clouds’ (VOID 2018)