Éric Antoine presents an introspective photographic work crowned by numerous exhibitions and by the book Ensemble seul. For nearly 10 years, Eric has devoted himself to the practice of wet collodion on large format glass and thus places the question of the materiality of the image at the heart of his research. In a quasi-sculptural approach, Eric Antoine delivers real photographs-objects, shimmering and silvered. Without the slightest hint of nostalgia, his process is an emancipating discipline.
By ensuring full control of his process, the photographer ideally blends form and spirit, artistic research and his intimate story.
Antoine’s work as an artist cannot be dissociated from his life, whether in its most mundane aspects or its fundamental quests. Eric Antoine questions the flight of time, memory, the healing of wounds and hope, discreet and unchanging. Symbols and allegories trace the geography of the photographer’s spirit.
The feeling of isolation, a central theme in his work, reveals the choice of life at one with nature, far from the clamors of the world his loneliness is as beneproductive as it is fertile. It is a distancing that leaves to see the world and its drift with clairvoyance. The stillness and silence of Eric Antoine’s photographs contrast with the images of a world of competition and imposed rhythms. Imbued with hints and subtlety, his work represents is a firm stance against a pursuit of sensationalism.
From this reflection arises a quest for an ever greater paring down. The simplicity of his still lifes and purity of his landscapes reflect obsessive minimalism. The gaze, rid of this disruptive overflow, finally settles on the beauty of a spot of light, the delicacy of a pile of forgotten papers, the light on a bottle, a reflection on the skin…
With infinite patience, the artist devotes himself to revealing objective reality without ever straying from aesthetic sublimation. Upon seeing his precise representations of objects, it could be said that Eric Antoine is renewing the German movement of New Objectivity. Paradoxically, though, as he embraces the flaws, drips and vagaries of the collodion process, he inches closer to a more pictorialist approach.
Eric Antoine’s photographic practice is in fact satellite. His work synthesizes to better circumvent these two currents of art history a priori irreconcirable. In doing so, he questions the status of the image in our contemporary societies, denounces the torments of the world and invites us to revel in the most simple and hidden beauties.
Born in 1974, Éric Antoine is a French self-taught photographer. When he left his teens, he discovered his passion and put all his energy into exploring the possibilities of film photography. He leaves to meet the world, the people and the urban landscapes according to his numerous trips. Fifteen years and thousands of pages of magazines later, Eric ANTOINE’s life takes a sudden turn. In 2010, he chose the tranquility of a house in the country, far from the chaos of the cities. t slows down its pace considerably and focuses on life and Nature in their simplest appearances.
For 5 years, he photographed only his immediate environment, within his house. This period of voluntary isolation will result in the bookEnsemble Seul in late 2015. Driven by a desire to return to his roots, Eric ANTOINE devotes himself to old photographic processes and to his artistic work, which has become more pictorial and bucolic. Far from any retrograde will, he wants to take the time, with patience and discipline, to push the technical and aesthetic perfection of his photography in a contemporary way.
In recent years, Éric Antoine concentrates his work on the ancient technique of wet Collodion. Each stage is managed by the artist, from the preparation of the chemistries to the final framing, through the multiple constraints of a capricious technique. Everything is a singular alchemy, and the use of primitive photographic material reinforces the sense of absence and tranquility in his photographs. These images on glass, fragile result of laborious work, firmly control the contemporary “digital flood” that Éric Antoine denounces.
One finds in his exhibitions recurring themes: the flight of time, the artistic and existential quest for simplicity. Fragments of reified bodies rub shoulders with anodins of everyday objects raised to the rank of jewels. The question of the materiality of the image remains at the heart of the artist’s research. Far from any nostalgia, the wet collodion process is here an emancipating discipline. In a quasi-sculptural approach, he delivers real photographs-objects, shimmering and silvered. Éric ANTOINE exhibits his photographs in galleries and museums in France, Europe and the United States.
Ensemble Seulstaged the series of photographs carried out by Éric Antoine 2010 to 2015, in the bucolic space of his country house, where he took refuge after the disappearance of his companion.
Book-Homage to the loved one, it gives to see what remains despite the absence, the flight of time and an artistic and existential quest of simplicity and counting.
Preface by.Hélène Conesa, curator at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, in charge of the contemporary photography collection, accompanied by a text byVanessa Schmitz Grucker, author and journalist.