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  • Anima(l)

Richon, Olivier, 2009, Show, Exhibition or Event, Anima(l)

Abstract or Description:

Approaching visual allegory from a contemporary point of view, the photographs in this exhibition included contemporary still lives and portraits of living animals taken in a studio setting. The work reflected upon the animate and the inanimate, and the way in which a tension between the two is created by the use of photography. It remains ambiguous whether the animal is used to play a role, or if it remains alien to the intended staging. In her review of the exhibition in Frieze magazine (2009), Sarah James described the allegorical affect: ‘All of [Richon’s] photographs appear to connote highly specific meanings, yet refuse to give anything away. They are more parodies of allegories than allegories themselves, invested in the aesthetic of ambivalence and promising a narrative content or meaning that might unfold over time or, equally, never materialize.’
Richon’s methodology pairs a systematic and rigorous use of lighting, colour, shadows and iconographic references with a studio setting that enables a staging of a comparative taxonomy. The photographic image is here endowed with a particular type of thoughtfulness: it is an image that proposes an indeterminate state between activity and passivity, movement and stillness, denotation and connotation.
The exhibition was well reviewed, receiving substantial coverage in Frieze and Studio International. Richon was invited to present his research in a paper, ‘The animal, mimicry and the mouth’ at the International Symposium ‘The Animal Gaze Returned’ at London Metropolitan University (2011), and was included in the group show ‘The Animal Gaze Returned’ at Sheffield Hallam University (2013). Works from the exhibition were also shown in group shows, including ‘Teaching Photography’ at the Museum Folkwang, Essen (2010) and ‘Le Bestiaire Imaginaire’, Palais Lumière, Evian (2010–11).

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W600 Cinematics and Photography > W640 Photography
School or Centre: School of Fine Art
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2011 19:47
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2014 11:55
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/753

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