Pierre Descamps: Monuments

Pierre Descamps: Monuments
International Photography Grant 2019

In this series „Monuments“, it is worth underscoring his use of offset, a reproduction method proper to print culture. Having said that, despite being printed on low-quality paper like that used in magazines (therein the titles allusive to page numbers) the artist materialises the work in a single copy which he later hand-frames himself. The artist also places a high value on other photographers removed from conventional art circuits, experts who portray skaters doing their thing. Mike Blabac, Allen Ying and Michael Burnett work with focus, light and angles from a completely different perspective to the above-mentioned artists, foregrounding in their images the body and expressiveness. Though in Descamps’ photos the figure itself (people, cars, etc.) does not make an appearance, the shadow of its presence lingers.

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

Pierre Descamps´ body of photographic, wall objects and sculptural work is largely centred on a portrait of urban architecture. His well-defined, geometric focus emphasises the formalism of urban constructions and the city barriers used by skateboarders. A second reading reveals however that his works enact a kind of periphrasis with the materials, confronting two contrasting cultures: popular culture and another more elitist one, grounded in the sophisticated legacy of twentieth-century conceptual movements: the aseptic imagery of the Dusseldorf School (the Bechers, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Demand) and the inexpressive influence of Pop (Ed Ruscha, Baldessari). While his sculptures and photos recall minimalist geometric compositions, the materials he employs and his way of making the works have completely different connotations, and on the other hand, unlike the popular iconography one usually finds in skateboarding culture, Descamps´ images are aseptic and devoid of human expression. Showing physical work without workers, skateboarding without skateboarding, without skaters, when it is a practice that has its greatest ally in human relations, is undoubtedly a way to monumentalize an exercise that takes place in the streets, in a natural way, and that could be put in close relationship with many other spontaneous meetings that at times shake the foundations of the established.

Website: @pierre_descamps_

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

Monuments Pierre © Descamps

 

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International Photography Grant 2019