Coutas, Evelyne

Evelyne Coutas, Paris, France


“One may ask why so many artists today are interested in old photographic techniques. Is it simply curiosity, a penchant for the paradoxical , historical interest?

Even if Evelyne Coutas does not escape this current trend she uses old processes with such skill that one does not question the reasons for her choice of technique.

Photography stemmed from painting and was as much the result of a new technical discovery as a revolutionary way of observing. Even before the invention of photography, painters in the privacy of their studios were beginning to see with the photographic eye. The technical advances developed simultaneously with this new aesthetic vision. It is not in an attempt to return to a ‘golden age’ that artists like Evelyne Coutas have turned to the origins of photography, but rather to displace the boundaries that separate photography and painting. Moreover, the return to the origins of photography has brought into question the petty certainties and comforts upon which the heirs of the so called ‘living arts’ relied; they neither permitted some represent to the real nor other to go beyond it.

Evelyne Coutas does not limited herself simply to recreating Fox Talbot’s process of developing photographs directly in sunlight, she transforms the process. She is not merely preserving traces of reality but opening the door to the realm of imagination.

The image which the sun leave of the body extended on paper, the shadows projected on the wall by the moonlight, result from an artistic perception similar to artists like Adzak or Klein. Transcending a simple conceptual or aesthetic gesture, her work reveals the essence of an ephemeral presence. As if photography, reduced to the essential can only go to the heart of the matter.”

Alain Sayag, Curator, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. In “ E.Coutas, photogénèses” ,CPIF.

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