Arles 2012: Isabelle Le Minh
Isabelle Le Minh
Camera Body #2, Made in China by Ye Jian de la série Lointain si proche, After Alighiero e Boetti, (2012) Huile sur toile . Avec l’aimable autorisation de la galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris © Isabelle Le Minh
Darkroomscapes, after Hiroshi Sugimoto, (2012) Tirages au gélatino-bromure d'argent sur papier baryté . Avec l’aimable autorisation de la galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris © Isabelle Le Minh
I can’t explain, after Jonathan Monk (2012) Impression pigmentaire sur papier rag. Avec l’aimable autorisation de la galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris © Isabelle Le Minh
I'll be your mirror (2009) Installation photographique : détail . Avec l’aimable autorisation de la galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris © Isabelle Le Minh
Just an illusion, after Ed Ruscha (2008) Impression pigmentaire sur papier rag. Avec l’aimable autorisation de la galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris © Isabelle Le Minh
PENTAPRISME #2, MADE IN CHINA BY BRUCE CHENG Série Lointain si proche, After Alighiero e Boetti, (2012) Huile sur toile . Avec l’aimable autorisation de la galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris © Isabelle Le Minh
Re-play, after Christian Marclay (2009) Installation: photographies, épingles . Avec l’aimable autorisation de la galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris © Isabelle Le Minh
Les Yoga sueras de Patañjali, livre III: la voie supérieure, sutra 53E de la série The Yoga Series, after John Baldessari ( 2012 ) Impression pigmentaire sur toile . Avec l’aimable autorisation de la galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris The yoga series, after John Baldessari (2012) © Isabelle Le Minh
Isabelle Le Minh - ENSP 1996
Reality killed the cat
Legend has it that one day the great master Zhuangzi – one of the founders of Taoism – fell asleep in a garden and had a dream. He dreamed that he was a very beautiful butterfly. After flitting here and there, the butterfly also fell asleep and also had a dream. It dreamed that it was Zhuangzi. When he awoke, the master was no longer sure who he was: the real Zhuangzi or the Zhuangzi in the butterfly’s dream.
Although the exhibition’s title is an explicit reference to the experience of Schrödinger’s cat, the title could also be “The Butterfly’s Dream”, because the exhibition puts reality into perspective – the reality of the image and the very nature of reality, which is what it most often questions. Here photography is no longer understood as a simple medium, a means of representing the world. It is photography, its objects, as well as the theoretical foundations of the image that are taken into consideration, extending into the digital era the path opened up in the 1970s by John Hillard and Ugo Mulas, with hisVerifications series.
Through numerous allusions to artists’ works (Christian Marclay, John Baldessari, Hiroshi Sugimoto), references to particle physics, Far Eastern philosophies and Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Isabelle Le Minh invites the visitor to an unconventional and self-reflexive approach to the medium. Most often operating through associations of ideas, she develops polysemous works, sometimes tinged with humour, which echo from one space to another and are marked by the resonance of words.
Conceived in a way that falls more within intellectual strolling than structured analysis, the exhibition implicitly questions the limits of photography, from the ontology of the image to its founding myths and its semiotic principles, and considers it for what it also is: a cultural practice fitting within an economic reality, a technical tool that produces objects in two dimensions, a trace left on a material by a flow of photons Or perhaps just an illusion.
Isabelle Le Minh
Born in Schötmar (FRG) in 1965. Lives and works in France. Isabelle Le Minh grew up in France, but spent a large part of her childhood in Germany. After engineering studies, she settled in Berlin in May 1989 to work as a patent engineer, while also undertaking a photographic study about the ruins of the GDR. She finally left behind her career to attend the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles in 1993. After graduating, she chose sensitive subjects for her photographic essays (a rubbish dump, an abattoir). The digital revolution and the vagaries of life led her to then drift away from photography to reflect upon the image in a broader way and to extend her area of creation to contemporary art. She now conceives resolutely conceptual works, which take all manner of forms (installations, photos, videos, books). The recipient of many awards and grants, Le Minh is also an archivist specialised in art, a photography teacher and exhibition curator. She is represented by the Christophe Gaillard gallery in Paris.