THREE RIVERS — It is never too late to go back to the base. Guy Langevin, in fact, the eloquent demonstration in the exhibition Veil of skin that he presents at the centre d’exposition Raymond-Lasnier of the culture House until 6 June.
Langevin made his name with the burning in which is often used photography as a support to its approach. At 64, he seems to close a loop without having sought in returning to photography as a means of expression.
It still recognizes Guy Langevin even when it changes. He continues to explore the female body with a righteous obsession. Passion full of an appreciative tenderness. Here, it is also wary that he is inquisitor, but unquestionably, it magnifies the object of his observation in order to give him a great symbolic power.
It is yet in the balance between the ordinary and the wonderful. “The body, it is the first thing that one perceives from the other. It was important to me to see an ordinary body. This is not the body of a 18 year old girl nor a woman, very old. But it is a body with its imperfections. This is a body for which I am seeking with nothing to hide.”
It is here that the camera takes its importance. It would not have been able to do the same process a few years ago. The artist is the trailer of the technology. “Like I want to be faithful to the natural body, I have not retouched the photos. And as I was going to make each photo very big enlargements, it took me a definition of exceptional that only devices of recent technology can offer.”
“I have always used the body in my work to talk about something else. That said, I could take a position and express points of view about the company or values that I would like to defend themselves, but I do not do that. There is no editorial position behind these works. My work is not based on society but on the human. About myself, in fact. I’m talking about life.”
“My work is more of poetry than of reasoning. For me, these bodies, this is beauty. I know that this is not in the current trends in the world of art I am against the current as I often was, but I persist and sign.”
“I don’t try to tell everything very clearly. I love that people find in my work an interpretation that had escaped me. As I tell my students at cégep: when you put too much meaning in your work, you lose the significance. I’m not trying to describe, I seek to evoke, arouse emotions in the viewer. It forces me to relinquish the work of all superfluous and not to deny my own emotions. Also, technically, it forces me to make my work intelligible to the spectator. I have to find the good line of communication.”
For this it is necessary that the ideas have been simmering a long time. Until they impose themselves on him to the point of obsessing. These bodies now exposed are sleeping in him since fifteen or twenty years. They found their existence.
We speak of body, but perhaps there should be talk of skin to be closer to the vision of the artist. To such an extent that he chose to support very specific to his photographs: the fabric. “I wanted a material which is soft and has a bit the texture of the skin. I want the viewers to touch the canvas, it should feel the texture.”
The other advantage of the fabric chosen, it is because his photos are floating in space, giving the appearance air to the pieces that move at the discretion of the air as the viewer moves. Not only the visitors will be free to touch, but we invite people to enter into the physical assembly of the images as one would in a human body floating a few inches off the floor.
Control and chaos
Veil of skin, it leaves a clear impression of mastery of the hand of the creator, who not only seemed to know exactly what he was looking for but it had the full tools to achieve it. We are surprised that this phase of his art is born of chaos intimate. “At a certain point, admits Langevin, I felt that I had to explore something else in my work. No matter how old you are when it happens, you find yourself in front of the void. You don’t know where you’re going. You are alone with yourself. It is nerve-wracking. “
“One might think that it would have been more comfortable to continue to do what I had done engraving for years, and who had brought me some success but I believe that at the bottom, I would have been unable to. I was not well! When I chose this profession was to move forward, evolve, challenge myself. This is still the case in 64 years.”
“I find that the hardest part in the work of an artist, and that is to give good kicks to the behind when necessary. It is important to avoid complacency is pernicious and dangerous. I have the very great fortune to have a certain reputation. Excellent very talented artists have not. But I got to a point where I had to put it behind me and move on to another step.”
“With the work that I show today, I have really found an avenue for exploring the rich and relevant to me. I know that I’ll continue in there for a good period of time. I want to push further the exploration.”