Preludio para el año 3001

Through an experimental process, Luc Ewen addresses the possibilities and limits of photographic language, creating strange landscapes, giving life to a dystopian universe. The journey is unique. A discreet, if not secretive, artist, Luc Ewen does not claim to «do» photography, nor does he define himself as a photographer. In fact, it is by questioning photography – which, according to him, «is a part of reality but which is not» – that he implements, in layers, processes crossed by the object, the landscape and chemistry. In his small laboratory inhabited by transfiguration, Luc Ewen creates images where, in the end, «everything is true and everything is false». Above all, it is his way of talking about time. Each image is a recomposition, a work of extreme precision. And this, starting from a collection of old photos, all linked to a kind of small personal mythology, an archive indebted to nature – Luc watches over it like a collector. A nature surveyed since childhood. And an archive on which the artist intervenes, with chemical turns, «with paint on top». His taste for chemistry, experimentation that makes that «there is something that changes», he owes it to his grandfather, an amateur ornithologist magician in his spare time, able to modify a color with a piece of sulfur lit. And so, Luc Ewen to intervene on his own photos, which he then fragments, assembles and superimposes to digitally recompose an image that shakes up codes and landmarks. An image where «something else happens», which is beautiful but terribly beautiful. The whole challenge of the Ewen factory is metamorphosis, which says the work of time. And Ewen time is a past-recovered time. As soon as he is resuscitated that he is fantasized. Thus, by cutting his photos as he cuts parcels of memory, Luc gives birth to another reality, that of a hybrid landscape, both marine and mountainous, an invented landscape, in transit, arising from another age to become a kind of metaphor for apocalypse. Adept of the simple life, paradoxical ecologist – urban tempted by the countryside, walker seduced by the bourlingue through the latitudes -, Luc the observer-surveyor, on the lookout for all the explorations, also integrates in his visual language a whole anthology of objects. A whole unusual, surreal interweaving, fish skins, faded flowers, rusty nails, charred wood, ashes. And especially pieces of fox skulls. A recurring figure, the fox is however not to be read through the prism of the animal, but that of an experience, an intimate time … universalized. In any case, they are all objects and plants subject to the change of scale, freed from any constraint, whose deep meaning is evaded, unless we symbolize our fight with «the higher forces», the fight of the uprooted man of modern times (according to Kafka). Moreover, no soul that lives in the photographic creation of Luc Ewen, deployed in formats sometimes as round as planets, or portholes, if not lenses of telescopes. Everything contributes to sowing doubt in the mind of the viewer. But it’s all about the «lie so present in our world,» says Luc Ewen. The series Preludio para el año 3001, which uses very small objects, where «this microcosm is raised to a monumental landscape dimension», encourages «the viewer to question the state of a future world where the landscape will be nothing more than an object of dream or utopia». Marie-Anne Lorgé, 2021

white ashes
todo fue un sueño
the sun is in the east
the lark ascending ii
the lark ascending i
the fog lifted
summer evening birds are calling
spring equinox
premiere ascension 02 07 2084
preludio para el ano 3001
in the sky a bird was heard to cry
no name mountain