photographsbiography
exhibition 2004 - exhibition 2006 - exhibition 2011
November 4th - December 23rd, 2006

The faces make a background, their eyes looking where the surface does not yield, beyond the frame, or turned inwardly. Portraits. People met or chosen. What is left of a body, the impression of a face, without being possessed or brought to light.

   Eric Nehr ‘s new exhibition proposes a clearly more conceptual approach of the portrait , in which the photographed face or body is not shown as an aesthetic ou psychological subject, but as the embodied medium of  abstraction, if not of monochrome.

   A thoughtful face, far from the archetype, whose first name is only known however, drawn from a colorful background, revealed by a light trying to send forth something absolute, like  a minimalist work by James Turell, or one of Malevitch’s white squares.

   A presence revealing itself and hiding at the same time when it appears, an echo of the disappearance implied by the fact of taking a photograph.

   The presence/medium of a nearly divine mystery through an old lady’s face the lines of which are only left, a graphic impression on the white background, or, a child’s dark complexion becoming bright like a black sun. The ghostly appearance of a nearly transparent man, a frozen spectral sculpture, with eyes seeming open and closed at the same time.

   As Robert Bresson would put it, the body is used here as a “precision instrument”, the evidence of a light turning to an imperceptible movement, becoming flesh, color, silence.

   Exceedingly white or black complexions, bending heads, creases, eyes looking away or inwards, bodies or faces are not here to charm or tell something. There they are, undisguised, as a stone or a sky in its silent mystery, in contact with light.

   They are captured colors, like those by a painter, flesh tints, what an eye looks like,what makes a translucent fabric , covering the soul, darkness, or cells.

    Eric Nehr’s portraits, by and large abstract, are more than a mere exhibition of photographs, they show people gathered randomly in a silent community, from complete darkness to blindness.

 

Félicia Atkinson