Valérie Belin explores the materiality of matter, primarily using the human form and its manmade and virtual representations. A central theme is her work is the boundary between reality and illusion; where, in our perception,in our habit of seeing and understanding, does this lie?
In approach, Belin makes deft use of light, detail, texture and color. She works in series, and a form of “photography” that requires skills at digital manipulation as well as sensitivity to the physical material used for the final work itself. The individual pieces are never simple reproductions. Additionally, scale is used for its proportional relation to the viewer, and so that every detail, every element of the illusion is laid bare for our perusal.
The recent series All Star explores illusion as a form of self-delusion: the conformist image of perfect beauty, of a fashion model or celebrity, seen as super heroines. This is just one example of how Belin juxtaposes multiple elements within a single frame to enhance and confuse the focus upon their subject. The artifice of the process is intended to produce an ultramodern image; a movement that aims at “meta-‐clichés”, which are clichés designed to transcend cliché, hence the title of this exhibition.
“Valérie Belin: Meta-clichés” is the artist’s first exhibition in China. Co-curated Shen Chen (Three Shadows, Beijing) and Karen Smith, as part of the Croisements Festival, the annual celebration of French culture in China.
About the artist
Paris-based French photographic artist Valérie Belin was awarded the Prix Pictet in 2015. Her work has been the subject of two retrospectives, one, in 2008, at the Centre for European Photography (MEP), Paris; the second at the Pompidou Centre, in 2015. Her works are found in the collections of numerous major museum collections, including MOMA New York, the Pompidou Centre, Paris, and LACMA in Los Angeles.