From November 10th to December 31st, 2017, Galerie DUMONTEIL will present the latest photo series by Eric Pillot for the first time in Paris. This exhibition, open during photography week, is part of the gallery’s program of "contemporary" exhibitions. Titled "Horizons", this new artistic project succeeds the multi-award-winning "In Situ” and provides a reflection on nature through two critical lenses: physicality of landscapes and the relationship of man with space. A contemporary artist recognized for his architectural and poetic approach to the image, Eric Pillot presents again a kind of photography which borders on drawing with this series.
Horizons - Nature in the line of vision: "We never really see the sea. We make guesses about it from a distance. One wonders if the landscapes of Eric Pillot, brought to a white heat, (...) are not mere mirages ". Eric Pillot surveys the immensity of the seaside spaces in black and white. As Amina Danton writes, through these photographs, Pillot “relies on the powers of light, the creases and the recesses of the wind, water, sand and land. (...) The photographer patiently explores the possibilities of space. A space where black and white, sky and water, the inside and the outside are reversible. Interchangeable.” Through his unique approach, Eric Pillot celebrates nature, its power and its presence. Like an explorer, Pillot sets out to conquer the elements, oceans of land and deserts of water to create his lunar landscapes that are hardly defined, capturing a moment which becomes an admirable space of meditation. The horizons move and recede according to the viewer’s approaching gaze. Leaving room for the silent chaos of spatial landmarks, they are transformed into a curve of time that only the artist masters. The infinity of the marine horizon arouses metaphysical reverie. Thanks to a sophisticated work with black-and-white contrast and nuanced shades of gray, the artist reveals dreamlike and imaginary dimensions in nature. The encounter between the horizons and the oceans leads to the fusion of the two elements. Time is then suspended between air and water. Like how Hiroshi Sugimoto dealt with Seascapes, Éric Pillot's approach to the landscape is temporal - the artist’s central question concerns Time and Light. It thus frees the memory of a land shaped not only by the movement of the wind and the tides but also by that of history. "Photo after photo, (...) each horizon allows a sort of reunion with time". Horizons is the spectacle of a natural environment on which Man has no influence, in other words, a parcel of pure wonder frozen by photography.
Landscape Architect: "So the horizon, which cuts the surfaces in two, with a sometimes sharp and borderless line, is not only seen as a dividing line but also as what unites the black with the white, the day with night ". Through the extreme precision of his photographs, the omnipotence of lines and surfaces, Éric Pillot, with a touch of nuance and sensitivity, creates resonances between the sky and the earth and plays with elements to capture spaces of silence where physics no longer rules. “Through the creation of distance within distance, the strength of the horizons makes the surfaces abstract, the symmetry between the sky and the sea seems to be reversed. " Through the act of immortalizing the landscapes which the artist encounters, the series, a detailed method of describing a given place with the infinity in mind, can also be analyzed with a topographic approach, like that of Jokla Series by Olafur Eliasson. From the perspective of a surveyor sensitive to the ever-changing beauty of time and its violence, the artist takes the infinite measure of these landscapes by capturing the tiny movements, the smallest accidents and making these spaces real living pictures.
To Paint Photography: Eric Pillot designs photographs that cater to his artistic goal. Pillot’s landscapes are never simply limited to the picturesque; instead, they are deeply mysterious, incredibly frank and fragile. Powdery to the touch, his works are defined by the gaze of the spectators. Like charcoal, halfway between photography and drawing, the photograph, before retouching, is sublimated by black and white impressions: pigmentary inks on fine-art baryta paper. "Every photo from the Horizons series seems to control and dominate its own negative. The black and the white compliment each other and their reciprocity leads to permutation and alternation. " The large empty spaces become blinding mirrors. The clouds stretch like in the line of his “brush”. The complexity of nuanced details is eye-catching: grass growing in the mud, stranded tree trunks, traces of footprints and sand falling apart. As the artist often expresses, “Every form is decisive, because it acts as a solid proof of existence”.