The third title in a series of publications dedicated to artists' residencies at Maison Bernard, a masterpiece of organic architecture carried out in the 1970s by Antti Lovag in association with Pierre Bernard. The book documents a site-specific project by photograph Yves Gellie, a work on light and perception.
Yves Gellie is no stranger to Maison Bernard. His first visit, back in the
1980s, enabled him to meet its creators, Pierre Bernard and Antti Lovag.
Coming regularly to see them, he gained an insight into the motivations
and intentions of the former, and the innovative designs of the latter.
The first images Yves Gellie took are documents far removed from
traditional architectural images. They affirm a deliberate bias in his
avoidance of wide angles, as it is not a question of showing as much as
possible but of suggesting, by focusing on the detail of the architectural
elements to reveal the precision of the entangled forms, the fluidity of
the perspectives and the patterns of the stone marquetry on the floor. And
then he was caught in the game. In creating a veritable photographic
studio in one of the rooms that brought together the full chromatic range
used in the house, he was able to interpret and manipulate Antti Lovag's
architecture to create autonomous images.
In a series entitled La Chambre Sœur [Sister Room], he made use
of the specific properties of photography, in this case light, to reduce a
three-dimensional space into a two-dimensional space, resulting in large
flat areas of colour evoking an abstract composition and the raw material
of a wall. Then seeking to recreate the transience of light in
the spaces and how this influences our perception of them, he created a
unique video installation by zooming in to the tiniest component of an
image, the pixel. And pixel by pixel, he managed to reproduce the
variations of light that the camera just could not capture.
His still and moving images are not representations, let alone
demonstrations, of architecture. They faithfully translate the spirit of
freedom that drove Antti Lovag and which he breathed into his
Yves Gellie (born 1953 in Bordeaux) is a French photographer.
After medical studies at the University of Bordeaux, he practiced tropical
medecine in Gabon for two years. In 1981, he began his career in
photo-journalism with a feature about cocaine production in Colombia,
followed by a story about war refugees in Ogaden, Somalia. He then became
a specialist of the Middle-East,
obtaining a World Press Award for a project on Oman in 1988, and the prize
of the Society of Publication Designer's and the Merit Award in 2003 for
his work on Saudi Arabia. His work being between photo-journalism and
contemporary art, he has developed a style described as an
iconographic selection of the reality underlying the day-to-day life and
its trivial aspects.