La feuille d’ombre
The shadow sheet
March 12th – April 30th, 2016
Opening 12 March 4pm – 8pm
Galerie Fatiha Selam is pleased to present Jörg Gessner’s second solo exhibition. True to traditional washi paper which characterizes his artistic practice, the new series of the artist have continuity with his previous works, while offering a new direction of his research, between vibration and dissolution. So, turn the page to see the second chapter of this novel without words.
FIAT LUX, by Henri-François DEBAILLEUX
Paper. Only paper. We should even say papers, since Jörg Gessner uses an impressive number of different sheets. But this is not seen. It turns out that if in certain works he can content himself with ten or so layers, in others, and the largest, it can extend to a hundred layers. Obviously they are not superimposed, but combined with one another. Therefore a lot of paper, but without any glue, never, simply stretched.
If Jörg Gessner speaks easily of the qualities of paper, he keeps the manufacturing of his works a maker’s secret. Like the dark side of the moon, which is all the more appropriate as the principal subject of his works is light. And far more than the technical details, what is important (for him) is the final result, which admits of no imperfection, the better to capture light, and which presumes lengthy work upstream, notably in researching the best papers. Jörg Gessner does not hide this other non-visible side: the journeys, the encounters with people and exchanges of ideas that, as a true quest and necessary development, form part of the work. Indeed, time is one of the essential components, inseparable from light. The time that passes, and the weather (in French the same word: temps) and the simultaneity of the two that will constantly modify each piece. We could also add the time it takes for the memory to nourish the picture and its ‘process’.
Pierre Soulages often said that it was not the black that interested him in his paintings as much as the way the black was hung and reflected the light. He also explained that it was not the painting itself that one should look at but what happened in front of it, where the light reacted to the black. With Jörg Gessner, it is the reverse: for a start, he plays with white, even if he uses a rear background of black to give more depth to the work. But above all, it is inside that we must look, at the very heart of the artwork where the vibrations, the sensations, the emotions pound. There where the heart of the world beats. For beyond Jörg Gessner’s professed passion for paper, it also serves as a backdrop and a screen, not to reflect the light (or perhaps not only) but to capture it. Paper like a blotter, playing with its porosity to absorb light, to transform it in an almost alchemical way, to crystallise it, to make it play, as one would say of a musical instrument, the full scale of possible nuances. Paper as a vacant surface, available, receptive, ready to be infused by every ray, even the slightest, to guide the light in its threads, its fibres and its weft, to translate it into impressions and make it express its states of being (however tremulously). We can therefore no longer speak of a white sheet.
Jörg Gessner was born in 1967 in Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany. Today he lives and works between Paris and Lyon. This is his second solo exhibition at Galerie Fatiha Selam, the first of which was in September 2014.