Perhaps everything is an image – objects, people, even thoughts. When it calls for it, we gather what is most intimate to us, often at arm’s length. Why look too far? Back in 1957, the rst digital image made by Russell Kirsch was of his three-month-old son, Walden. This headshot measured just 5cm by 5cm, 176 pixels on one side, and was created by feeding the image through a rotating drum scanner programmed by the Standards Eastern Automatic Computer (SEAC). As all baby pictures, before and after, it has an openness that knows no bound, but also a hesitancy that sends a glare past the materiality of the image, the occasion, resolutely puncturing the present, and passing the future.
Such malleable temporality pervades Hubert Marot’s practice that ricochets from painting to ceramic to sculpture, all through photography’s materiality and potential to recalibrate time. Painted plastic sheeting and a fan generate an instability of the negative and its receptive image, on stretched canvases that have been applied with photo-sensitive emulsion. It seems as if the wind is still blowing the blur around the slow surfaces of the resulting images. Ben- dy metal forms, vaguely recalling car headlights, echo the imprecise cuts of folded clay tablets, thus functioning as both tool and material.
Found used batteries, their expiration dates certainly uncertain, bide and bind time. Images fade. Batteries go out. But before that, they fuel the apertures of the ceramic with LED, like an open ame. Just as a photo, they need light. We need light. Is it an apparatus? A personal evocative device? An autonomous and anonymous vehicle? Marot has been working as a covert parallel practice a series of iPhone photos turned resinotype, a pigment photographic process from early 20th century. With it, the speed of fast capture is countered by the slowness of printing. In his work, the speed of recognition is always countered by the slowness of our understanding.
Walden Kirsch grew up to become a television reporter and worked for Intel, though nowadays anything is in ected and infected by the digital, this trajec- tory bears no signi cance. Perhaps, what matters now is not a capture of the new image, but how to extract and elongate time, like the curve of an open upraised arm, as protection and exaltation, susceptible to dreaming. Not as an immediate release, but a protracted one, of energy transmission.
Text by Jo-ey Tang.
Hubert Marot - Nul bruit à l’horizon, nul cri dans les nuages
Galerie Untilthen (now&then), May 22 - June 5