"Avant l'image" by Anne-Christine Normand

Feb 12, 2018

Anne-Christine is a young Canadian artist who explores the image on its most primitive sense. In her practice, Anne-Christine searches for untouched scenarios that transport us to the pure visualisation of things where names don't even exist. In this way she aims to represent a vision before and after humans, and the result are profound abstract images that inspire and bring to question our own existence. Following we present a nice interview that we had with her: am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us? ACN - Thank you for the invitation. I was born thirty years ago in Montréal, Québec, where I am still living, although I am planning to move to France this year. I have studied and worked in various fields such as social sciences, graphic design, architecture, management and advertising. What I am doing at the moment is a complex question. am - How did you start in photography? ACN - I discovered the pure pleasure of framing with a 35mm camera quite early, when I was in high school. I was fascinated by the effect of light and time on film, experimenting with long and double exposures. At the time, I was very much influenced by the French surrealists and Czech avant-garde photography. I was impressed by the ability to create a world that is totally apart from reality with basic technical means. am - What inspires your work? ACN - For the last eight years, I have been mostly inspired by nature and places that show no traces of our current civilization. Those virgin places are embodying for me some kind of aesthetic ideal that I wish could remain untouched. My first instinct is to create compositions that have nothing in common with the usual sights related to our contemporary world, and which I consider as out of time. am - What is “Avant l'image” about? ACN - This series could probably be translated by 'On the nature of things'. It refers to an age that preceded humanity, when things surrounding us could not be named nor the concept of visual representation existed. 'Avant l’image' is at once the first and the last visions of humankind. am - How would you describe your visual language? ACN - I would say that I consider my approach as a reflexion about the photographic process. I am using photography as I would use painting, blurring boundaries and experimenting with both languages with a posture that is between immersion and withdrawal. I think that the more abstract part of my work is mainly related to an experimentation that has to do by deconstructing the functionality of the medium itself, as I am using film to create views that have never truly existed in this way. am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists? ACN - A few major influences in photography are Alison Rossiter, Jocelyne Alloucherie, Miroslav Tichý and Arnaud Claass. If we stay into the field of visual art, I would say that painters such as Gerhard Richter, Thierry de Cordier, Rudolf Stingel and Tacita Dean have deeply influenced me. am - What are your main interests as an artist? ACN - Discovering new and inspiring places to capture some photographs is definitely my main concern. am - What’s your favourite movie? ACN - I could not say that I appreciate a specific movie more than another. Some titles that have pleased me a few times would be 'Repulsion' (Roman Polanski), 'The Exterminating Angel' (Luis Buñuel), 'Contempt' (Jean-Luc Godard), 'The Train Stop' (Sergei Loznitsa) and 'The Conspirators of Pleasure' (Jan Švankmajer). am - What is your favourite photo book? ACN - I do not have any yet. I have to say that I prefer publications from another era, such as vintage encyclopedias or naturist publications from the interwar period. I often get distracted while looking at art books because I constantly imagine what would be my own. am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine. ACN - It was a pleasure, thanks a lot for the invitation. This was unexpected and very flattering.

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