Purple Sex

[April 6 2023]

waterworks by Jean Vincent Simonet

The young photographer Jean Vincent Simonet is showcasing an entire series for the first time on Purple. In the midst of an overwhelming influx of images and their detachment from reality in the 21st century, Jean-Vincent Simonet seeks to rejuvenate their essence and tangible presence.

Waterworks, 2021
text by Anne Bourrassée

Page one. The prologue is a smooth egg. It falls in the center and flees to the left. The foreboding
announcement of an imminent catastrophe. Next page. The images drawn from the chaos are then
organized. They are pressed against each other, as if prevented from extracting themselves from a scenario
that goes beyond them. The colors shout from being torn. The reason: their supernatural state resulting
from a time spent outside the screen, outside the parameters, outside.
Paper accidents lead Jean-Vincent Simonet to divert the conventional use of the printed image. By
a lie calibrated in the machine, prints are executed on unstable paper. The ink, waiting to be bound to its
support, becomes the material of an alienating performance over the course of several days.
Two hands welcome the output image, the gesture finds its destination in a tank of water. The
photograph plunges, accompanied by the coming and going of the waves caused by the mechanics of the
arms. Soft or excessive, this treatment generates a shift. That of the image taken in incisive decisions and
abrupt movements which forces its release. At this point, the finality of the image can outwit predictions.
The pattern overflows its contours to form protrusions. The ink scatters into subaqueous roots and its
floating residue clings randomly to the paper. Cyans and magentas are forced to escape in masses of flat
surfaces, assuming artificial tints through chemical reactions. Liquid, the photograph releases its breath.
The paper dries and the images embrace their rest. Two thousand photographs will be printed, rinsed and
dried. During the sequence of manipulation, the close environment will have imposed its conditions. New
variables, in a process of fallible technicality. Water and summer cease to saturate the colors. Confused
and in tears, the colors cry on the surface.
The compilation of images assembled under the title Waterworks stems from series taken over
several years. Together, they find their places as sixty-six to form thirty books with the same framework
but with different interpretations. Thus, the story repeats itself endlessly. It amasses an apocalyptic world
that links the environment to science fiction. From fantastical wanderings to surrealist poems. Bodies,
flowers and machines overflow with language of eroticism. The vibrating retina on the colorimetric
frequencies create a convulsed reading. Epilogue. The subjects of still life are revived.

Photos by Jean Vincent Simonet


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