sabato 24 dicembre 2016

August Muth and the pure form of the analogical holography

"Holography is the demonstration that when a technique is performed in a perfect manner, the result that is obtained is artistic." TG

August Muth

Last april at the MIA of Milan I met August Muth the best holographer in the world. Holography is a real 3D kind of photography more practiced in the '80s that in the years later. This technique desappeared because holography films were discontinued. This is the interview I recorded with  Mr. August Muth that explains how he has been able to bypass this problem.

Tony Graffio: Is this the indipendent stand of an indipendent artist, isn't it?

August Muth: Yes, we are very indipendent (he laughs).

TG: So, at first I would like to understand why holography is here in a photography art exhibition?

AM: Well, as we utilize a photo sensitive emulsion formula that was developed in the early 1840's; before the current emulsions had been not even discovered. It goes back for a very long time, it was one of the very first sensitive liquid emulsion and has a different type of light recording than a phtograph.

TG: Does people know holography?

AM: In general no, it's something very new to them, but in terms of the world knowing holography there are many things in nature that they are basically holograms. Like the colours in bird feathers or in butterflies wings; they all use similar structures how holograms break light up to the colours.

TG: Holography was quite popular in the '80s, also myself I learnt how to make an hologram with a laser and simple instruments. What has changed in these last 30 years?

AM: Technologically the latest development in holography had to do with digital holography, where they take digital files and convert them in holograms. I'm not very interested in it because I really believe in a pure form where you utilising just the laser light itself to make the hologram. And they are extremely high resolution, much higher then any resolution of any other media that exist on the planet at this time. Something like 10 billions pixels per inch. When we make a hologram it records the molecular structure of the material that the hologram subject is made of.

TG: Does exist also a way to make video holography?

AM: Yes, there is something that people are calling holograms in video, but what they are is different. There are video displays systems. I see these more and more now on the web, people talking how they are making digital holograms, but in truth they are not making holograms at all. They are just paper ghosts.

TG: Would you like to talk a little bit about your education and your career please?

AM: I grow up in New Mexico wich is very much about light. Many artist from over the world travel to New Mexico because of the light. In the early age I was very interested in working with light and working in the realm of the photon. As I discovered holography I made a self training with this discipline beacause there is no educational system out there to train with holography. There are just a few people who do it. You have to learn from those people and then you go off and really self-train and discover how to improve the matter. And that's a lot of what I've done. I have developed a method where I'm making larger holograms with this emulsion in anyboby in the world. Soon I will do holograms much larger, so I 'm going to rebuild my studio to make 1,5 meter X 1,3 meter. When I will return to New Mexico that's what I do.

TG: Is anybody collaboratig with you?

AM: Yes, Dora Tass came in my studio and we worked together to produce the typewriter series. She had the contacts in Italy, so we have been invited here to the show in this fair. I've never been to Italy before, so I decided to come here with my works.

TG: You don't work with films anymore?

AM: No, holographic films don't exist anymore, we work only with gelatine emulsions, a very old process, and we coated in this way the glass plates. It's very much like in the very first photographs. We make the hologram on the gelatine and then we laminated another piece on glass on top to the gelatine to protect it from the enviroment. Essentially from scratches and things like that. 

TG: What's the difference in working with film and with gelatine emulsion?

AM: The emulsion I use doesn't really has grain at all. The structure is very fine so you can obtain a extremely high resolution, but very few people work with this emulsion because you have to coat it quicky because it only has two weeks lifetime after you make the emulsion on the glass. Then it's dead and it's not good anymore.

TG: Do you prepare the emulsion by yourself?

AM: Yes, and I make my own formula; it's like I make my own paint, because the formula as to do with what colours you research. Results depends by different formulas I mix and how old emulsion is. If it is fresh you get ones and if it has aged you obtain a different palette. So, it's very alchemical and I don't follow the same palette all the times. I'm very loose with my technology. Producing holograms is an experience more then obtaining the exact results I want.

TG: Does this involve a lot of experimentation?

AM A lot of experimentation, yes. To see what would works and what it wouldn't work.

TG: Are you able to obtain the holograms immediately or you need to try more times before to have a good result?

AM: Sometimes it takes many, many tries to get the result because the emulsion I use is very unsensitive to light so the exposure time is seven minutes. If anything move more than 1/10'000'000'000 of a meter in 7 minutes you don't get the hologram because the laser light ought has a phase with itself, so there is nothing in there. Everything has to be very still for a long time, but occasionally things move and you have something that is not there at all. Sometime I move a piece a little bit and sometime they are totally still, so they are very clear and bright. It's all part of the creative process of what I do. Everything is very experiential.

TG: Is your art appreciated in USA?

AM: It's well received, yes. I have many galleries there where I sell working, but at the same time it's something very new. People are not really used to this type of work and I'm really knowing that there is not much of this work in the United States, so there is nothing for people to compare it to. So, this is always a problem that I had. I'm very unique and individual in terms of this work, but at this point I've been doing it for 30 years and this is all I do. I don't do anything else.

TG: Does people understand the difficulties of your technique?

AM: No, not at degree at all.

TG: It's crazy!

AM: I've made many many things in my life: sculptur, photographer, for a while, when I was in college in my early days. This is by far the most difficult thing I've made in my life. In some parts of it, you must be very precise, very controlled and very scientific. In other parts of it I have to let it go and let nature be my partner in the creation of the holograms.

TG: Have you anything to do with the Multiplex?

AM: No. Those are not real holograms because they are the rays of two dimensionals film source, so it's not really a three dimensional source. I really like making true holograms, in the sense to have a real light information storage device, if you want to be scientific about it. They are real. Most people come to see my work and they say: "Ah this is a great illusion!".  No. They are real. What we see is the illusion, we see the light in a eye transfer to electro to chemical impulse, back to electro impulse to the brain. In our perceptions this is reality, or what we think reality is. Hologram is reality, just it has no mass. Because it doesn't need any mass.

TG: How much do you sell your works?

AM: In the USA usually, in my galleries, my pieces go for $ 18'000 to $ 22'000.

TG: How much time do you need to make a piece?

AM: Between 40 and 80 hours from start to finish a piece. There are many many steps, from coat the emulsion on the glass to make the exposure of the hologram. Then I have to process, to laminated and to finish the glass and creating a framing system for. There are many processes in what I do. 

TG: Do you make these processes uninterruptedly?

AM: Oh yes, it takes days doing these things, because when I coat the emulsion I have only one week of time or two days in summertime when the days are warm and humid. In wintertime when the weather is cold and dry I have to wait 4-5 days before the plates dry up. Sometimes, just the heat from my hands would go into the glass and bend the glass and so you have to wait from overheat until the glass relax again, so the glass is not bending during the exposure time. So basically everything is nearly seattled. I load a plate one day and next night I make the hologram. I load a plate next day and the nex night I make the hologram.

TG: Are you the only one to work in this way?

AM: Yes, I would say yes. There may be a few people hobbyist who do it, but I am the only one who is doing this at professional levels. And Dora. Dora comes to my studio and collaborates. I consider her as my partner. I have facilities like no other in the world, so the only way other people could produce is collaborating with me. Some people collaborating with me to produce my works and I'm able to collaborate to produce their. It's a very fluid collaboration we have (I heard from other source, a gallerist, that also James Turrell holograms are produced by August Muth).

TG: Every piece is one of the kind?

AM: Yes. I don't use masters. I want each piece is individual light recording. It's the recording of half the light interacted with the subject one year ago or six months ago. As if you look at the stars  you look at the light emitted by the stars millions years ago, but you look at the present. When you look at a hologram you look how the light reacted with the subject matter one year ago, also in the present. There is an analogy with the stars and what I do. There is a communality also in photography and what I do because I'm parcially using really old photographic techniques. Platinum photography is much more sensitive than dichromate gelatine, what I do is dichromate, and it is 4 or 5 times less sensitive than silver halides emulsions.

All rights reserved

August Muth was born in 1955 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, now his studio is based in Santa Fe. New Mexico, USA.

domenica 13 novembre 2016

Old lens big emotions: Kern-Paillard Switar 1:1,8 f 5,5mm D mount

Stazione Garibaldi Milano. Pentax Q + Switar 5,5mm f 1,8 400 Iso 1/80 sec. f 5,6

My experience with the 8mm go back at the sixties, when I was a very little child and my uncle gave me his Eumig for shooting a scene at the seaside. We were fully in the Kodacolor years. 
Last time I projected the footage I shot, around 10 years ago, I still was very surprised of my early ability in filming and of the brilliance of the colours.
Recently, we are re-discovering many things about our past and of the old tecnologies we used to film, to photograph or to listen to the music and we understand how much love the producers put in building films, lens and all the mechanical gear we used.
Nearly everything was hand made or required hand mounting, hand finishing and human competence.
Now, we are living in the plastic age, the robots are the new workers and when something breaks, it's not possible to repair it.
Thanks to a very cheap chinese D mount adapter I could give a new life, on a digital photo camera, at a precious wide angle lens unused for too much time.

My Pentax Q with a Switar  5,5 mm f 1,8  (serial number 827243) and the D mount P/Q adapter

The Pentax Q has a sensor of mm 6,16 X, 4,6
The 8 mm cine standard frame is mm 4,5 X 3,3

Digital sensor comparison. The Pentax Q has a sensor of 1/2,3″ inch.

8mm cine formats comparison

This means that there is a little difference between the two formats, also if the 8mm was born around 80 years before the digital Pentax Q. And it could be possible to cover the new format with the old lens, also if it is possible having some problems with the wide angles.
I estimate that a focal lenght of 5,5mm on a Pentax Q format should correspond at a 28mm on a 24X36 mm frame.
Usually, this is not an extreme wide angle lens, but on a very little format it's quite difficult to make o to find a wider lens. The Kern-Switar 5,5mm f 1,8 was one of the best wide angle for filming in 8mm.
It's also true that using an old lens to shoot on digital it's always a difficult compromise because films and electronic sensors  work in a very different manner.

Before the Sunrise. Milan, via Farini. November 13th 2016. Pentax Q + Switar 5,5mm f 18 Iso 125; 1/25 sec. f 4.

Same shot in a different version (B/N)

The lens
The lens is gorgeous, is made with aluminium and brass and has the optical coating. The iris is continuos and has 8 blades. The minimum focus distance is very short: cm 11, so we nearly could call this Kern: Macro Switar. The focusing ring, as the iris ring is very smooth and precise. In this way if we need to open the iris, make the focus and close again the iris, it's possible to make this operation without to change the focusing distance by mistake. But we still need to make attention because the dimensions of the 5,5mm are quite small. Made in Switzerland at the end of the 50's.

I've been able to use the Switar 5,5mm on my camera without change the distance at the infinity focus, but the distance reported on the ring didn't correspond at a real value, so I could focus only watching the display of my Pentax Q.
The lens came from a Bolex Paillard DL8. I tested other lens coming from other cameras, as some Claston and others Kern coming from a Bolex Paillard B8. I found that the lens coming from the B8 were the only lens usable on my Pentax Q without perform a new collimation.
Optical collimation is a corretion made with some thin rings to put on the back of the attacmente of the lens so that infinity focus coincides exactly on the focal plan, where the sensor or the film is. 

Vignetting & Co.
Because the Pentax Q format is larger than the standard 8mm there is a strong vignetting on the corners of the images. Distorsion is weak, but visible. Chromatic distortion is also visible because the colours focus on different plans on film and on CMOS.

Final Judgement
Working with a full manual lens on a automatic focus digital camera is never funny, you lose time and you need to make additional clicks to be sure to be on focus: also because it's possible to move the focus ring by mistake when you close down the iris after you focused the subject at the iris wide open. Kern-Paillard are the best optics you can find, not only for 8mm, but also for other formats, like 35mm, but using them on a digital camera could be done only to find vintage atmospheres, having an alternative to change lens, for fun, for trying something new, or because these lens are very, very fast. They are not so suggested for a use in colour photography: I think it has more sense use them for black and white photography or for videomaking. Best again for filmaking, also beacause you can still order your 8mm (double 8mm, if you prefere), Super8 or 16mm at TG

lunedì 31 ottobre 2016

Tony Graffio and the "The Lightcatcher"

Tony Graffio is a technical sponsor of "The Lightcatcher"

For almost two years, I document and diffuse indipendently the works of the artists of our time through the pages of
In view of the opening of my blog ortodossiafotografica, I was moved to find photographers whose story deserves to be told and maybe support them technically and economically in their projects.
During summer 2014 I met "The Lightcatcher," I listened to his ideas, and let myself be charmed by his beautiful and courageous project; I understood the difficulties that presented some aspects of his business, so I decided to do something to help him.
From the time, I was also fascinated by the idea of contributing to preserve ancient knowledge of almost lost techniques and  to promote those involved in these projects.
In this way Ortodossia Fotografica and Frammenti di Cultura have born as cultural initiatives with the aim to create objects of technical use which are difficult to find on the market of the new millennium, or totally out of production, elements that can be built only with traditional methods.

I will cover this talk in more detail some other time, for now I wanted to let everyone who follow me to know that in these pages I will evaluate other artists and other ideas to which I could participate with technical sponsorships or in other forms, within the limits of my possibilities.

The Lightcatcher inside his Ural 6X6
Inside a very special vehicle (July 2014)

If you are interested to let me know your projects, you can contact me, as always, to my personal cell phone: 3339955876 or by email to Tony Graffio

The Lightcatcher is sponsored by Tony Graffio

If you wish to help Kurt to realize his dream you can send 

an International Bank Transfer to the bank account on the 


IBAN: IT89J0818758740000001021695

BIC: RZSB IT 21030

sabato 1 ottobre 2016

The Bolaskop Benatti Polaroid Prototype n.4

few weeks ago, a friend of mine, knowing my passion for photography, called me telling to have something very interesting to show me.
Alex Gordon is an extravagant person, but he is very honest and sincere, so I really expected to see something very strange and rare... Alex like me lives in Milan and he is a camera operator. He is always very busy, so a morning we met in an ice-cream shop in Bovisa, close to Emma Canepari's Speed Photo Shop and I saw for the first time in my life a Bolaskop.

Alex Gordon
 Alex Gordon and his Bolaskop mounted on a Nikon F3

Bolaskop Polaroid
 The Bolaskop was a prototype able to print big pictures direcly on Polaroid paper through a few prisms. It was made by Benatti, the lens mount wizard of Milano.

Prototype n. 4
 This is the Bolaskop number 4. I doubt there could be more than 5 of these jewels around the world... If you are able to find one, please let me know it.

Alex Gordon's Bolaskop
The Bolaskop mounted on a Nikon F3. I think it was made at least 30 years ago, but it's still like new.
 Sorry for the photographs, they where all made with a mobile phone...

domenica 26 giugno 2016

One take, one frame, one camera: Leica CL Hybrid Wide Tony Graffio

Is the Leica CL a real Leica? This is not a problem for me. I like Leica cameras, but I'm not a maniac of this brand, they are just a little bit too expensive for me, expecially in these days many people is looking for Leitz lens to mount them on the new digital Leicas. Years ago, I owned a very nice Leica M4 with a Summicron f 2, the results were stunning, but I was used to my Nikon F2 so, after a while, I sold the M4 thinking to break-up definitively my relationship with the german red dot. 
Not so much time ago, I would say 2 years, I bought an old Leicaflex SL, later another, and then an older Leicaflex, because the R series was not so wanted. Just in time, because since a few months also the Leicaflex and the R series lens began to be more appreciated and expensive...
Last march I went to the Castel San Giovanni second hand photographic market and when I found a Leica CL at 130 euros I decided to buy it also if the lightmeter was not working and there was not any lens on the camera body. 
Good move. The lightmeter problem was not so serious, the CL just needed to sobstitute an oxidized cable and very quickly became ready to take some pictures again. 
Then, the problem was: where to find a lens at a reasonable price? 
I was not in the mood to spend around 2'000 euros for a 21mm or any other original focal lenght so I understood I had not to watch on a Leitz product. I started to think at a few alternative options. I compared the Cosina/Voigtlander to the Zeiss and other lens with an M mount and I realized that Nikon wide angles could be not worse than those makes, and not even slower.
I started to look after lens adapter and I decided to find something that could allow me to mount a Nikon on my Leica/Minolta CL.

This Hybrid Camera is a Leica/Minolta rangefinder camera Leica M Mount with a Nikkor AIS mm 20 f 2,8, a Cambo Wide 650 Viewfinder and a no brand lens hood

I know it is a unusual choice, everybody would like to take advantage of the Leitz optical quality, but I wanted to put together a small light camera with what I already had. I had only to look for the right adapter, I already owned all the rest of the gear. Of course, I could mount every kind of Nikon lens on my solution, but not having the possibilty to focus precisely meant to be forced to mount a very wide lens on the CL. The good new is that the compact Leica/Minolta has an internal cell that enables the TTL metering system to work also with a lens adapter and a manual diaphragm lens, like the Nikon AIS.

 The Bovisa old gasometer photographed with my Hybrid solution. Fujifilm Fujicolor 200 E.I. 1/500 sec. f 11

The entrance in the AEM area where rise the old gasometers is forbidden to the public. So, I guess, I introduced myself illegally in this place to document what happened, what kind of works were made and what is the actual situation. 
I needed to have my hands free to cut the wild vegetation and to have a small and light camera with me, in the case I had to runaway quickly.
Camera was already mounted with the adapter and the 20mm in a small bag. In another pocket of the bag I kept the lens hood and the Cambo viewfinder. To take the pictures I had to take off the lens cap, mount the lens hood, mount the  cambo wide angle viewfinder, focus at a quite closed aperture, expose the scene with the internal meter, compose the image and shoot the picture.

Leicaist Nik-L/M lens adapter

I don't like anymore buiyng online on the web, so I searched a shop in Milan where to find any make of lens adapter.
Nobody had it, so I went by my trusted chinese bazaar to explain what I needed.

 Federica, more than a chinese seller, a property master

Federica already had been able to find for me an adapter in China for a Pentax Q to any D mount (8 mm cine cameras) lens, so I asked again to her to solve my problem. I've been lucky because she already had to make a journey to Shanghai and she looked for it directly in her hometown. 
A couple of weeks later she came back with my adapter, 100% Made in China. 
Thanks Federica and thanks to the industrious wise chinese people that build in their old and big country what we lazy italian people don't want to make anymore. I payed the Leicaist adapter 43 euros.

Tony Graffio's Leica CL Wide Hybrid, a Nippo-German-Dutch- Chinese camera.

martedì 21 giugno 2016

Caméras vielles et glorieuses: la Pathé Baby 9,5 mm

Le cinématographe dans toutes les familles

Introduit en 1921 comme un format cinématographique économique pour voir des films commerciales à la maison, le Pathé Baby, l'année suivante, devient aussi une pellicule pour prendre des scènes familieres, ou bien des souvenirs d'amateurs.
Ses caracteristics sont une largeur de 9,5mm et simples trous d'entraînement situez au milieu de la pellicule, entre les cadres.
Si d'une part la perforation centrale permet de façon très intelligente de tirer la meilleure partie du cadre, de l'autre est aussi la principale limite de ce format. Malheureusement, le centre du cadre est toujours sujet aux rayures en raison du plus petit problème de mâchoire traînant si on utilisent de projecteurs de mauvaise qualité.

Le format 9,5 mm utilisait une seule perforation centrale entre chaque paire d'images permettant d'avoir plus d'espaces sur le film pour le cadre impressioné.
(Courtoisie Matteo Ricchetti)

Comparaison de quatre formats cinématographiques: 16mm; 9,5mm, Super 8 et 8mm.

Le 9,5 mm est né en France dans l'Établissement Pathé de Joinville, Paris. Ce format a eu une bonne diffusion en France, Allemagne, Royaume-Uni et États-Unis, mais il n'a jamais obtenu de grands succès en Italie, bien que certains types de films sont encore disponibles (chez Colour City en France). Les rares utilisateurs de ce type de film ne sont que peu d'amateurs. Il y a des clubs en France, en Espagne, en Angleterre et même dans les États-Unis. Au moment de sa propagation, et jusqu'au début des années trente, ce type de film a été souvent utilisé comme un format pour des projections dans des lieux privés ou dans des clubs. Nombreux films célèbres ont été réimprimés dans ce format.
Le système de projection incorporait un moyen pour sauver des mètres de pellicule pour le parties non mobiles comme les titres. Une encoche dans le film était reconnue par le projecteur qui savait alors projeter la seconde trame après 10 secondes. Par cette méthode, 10 secondes de temps d'écran est disponible pour la première image du film, plutôt que les 140 cadres nécessaires si le film a été projeté à la vitesse normale. Le même principe a été utilisé par le système «Agfa Family», une caméra Super 8 et le projecteur en 1981, mais pour fournir des images plutôt que des titres.

 Pour raisons de sécurité, Pathé Baby 9,5mm utilisait film de sécurité avec une base d'acétate de cellulose, à difference du 35mm qui était fabriqué en nitrate de cellulose.
(Courtoisie Matteo Ricchetti)

L'interieur d'une caméra Pathé Baby.
(Courtoisie Matteo Ricchetti)

Le couloir du film.
(Courtoisie Matteo Ricchetti)

Raccomandazioni importanti (reinsegnements importants).
(Courtoisie Matteo Ricchetti)

Cette caméra et beaucoup de photos dans ce service de "Ortodossia Fotografica" ont été fournies par Matteo Ricchetti qui a construi un formidable télécinéma multiformat (voir la page en italien sur "Frammenti di Cultura").

Une autre camérà Pathé Baby. Cette fois mise à disposition par Felice Quaquarella et son Musée Privé du Cinéma Amateur.

Cette Pathé Baby est vraiment un bébé. (Courtoisie F.Q.)

Après la guerre Les Établissements Continsouza s'établissent in
403 rue des Pyrénées à Paris, mais Continsouza décide d'acheter
le site de l'usine de La Marque à Tulle, pour y produire des appareils
de cinéma Pathé, des machines à écrire Contin ainsi que des pièces
de bicyclette. A l'Usine de La Marque seront produit des systèmes
Pathé Baby au format de 9,5mm.
Les projecteurs Pathé Baby seront mis sur le marché à Noël 1922.
Ce site sera productif jusqu'en 1925,
Continsouza revendra les bâtiments en 1927.
(Courtoisie F.Q.)

Le livret d'istruction de la caméra Pathé Baby en langue italienne.
(Courtoisie F.Q.)

Une rare coupeuse pour le 9,5mm 
(Courtoisie Felice Quacquarella).

Informations recueillies sur le Web et grâce aux collectionneurs indiqués dans cette page: M.R. et F.Q.

lunedì 13 giugno 2016

Corinne Héraud, le pelliculage à jet d'encre et ses séries artistiques

Corinne Héraud est née en France, dans un petite ville près de Lyon en 1971. Elle a d'abord travaillé dans des univers éloignés de la photographie (attachée de presse dans une agence de marketing et monitrice d'équitation) et a commencé a photographer à 30 ans avec une des prèmieres reflex numérique: la Fuji S1 Pro. Avec cette camera Corinne apprende les bases de la technique (vitesses, diafragmes, profondeur de champ) et tout ce qu'il faut savoir pour la prise de vues. Parallèlement graâce à un ami qui lui offre un viel agrandisseur 24X36 elle s'initie aussi à la photo argéntique. Elle découvre ensuite le travail à la chambre 4x5 et se passionne pour le pelliculage de Polaroid.
Aujourd'hui Corinne mélange du numérique avec du Polaroid et ne s'interdit aucune technique. L'idée qui la guide dans sa démarche artistique est la grande richesse des possibilités d'expression creative offertes par la photographie.
Corinne a acheté et stocké beaucoup de films Polaroid pour son usage personnelle.
Sa technique de pelliculage à jet d'encre est unique. J'ai réncontré cette artiste en avril 2016 au MIA Photo Fair de Milan. TG
Tony Graffio: Bonjour Corinne, pouvez vous dire quelque chose de vous et de votre experience professionnelle?

Corinne Héraud: D'accord. En termes d'experience professionnelle je suis autodidacte, je n'ai aucune formation artistique et maintenant cela fait une dizaine d'année que je travaille avec la photographie. Il y a duex choses qui sont très important dans ma façon de travailler. Premièrement j'utilise des procedés alternatifs avec l'idée de produire une photographie dans laquelle il se passe des choses, des accidents. Pour cela je peux travailler à partir de photographies numériques ou de Polaroïd périmés mais je mets toujours en œuvre une technique aléatoire pour le «tirage». Par exemple, sur la série des "Auras", la base est un mélange de numérique et de Polaroïd et j'ai réalisé les «tirages» avec des transferts de pigments sur du papier aquarelle. Le principe est d'apporter une touche manuelle sur chaque tirage de façon à ce que chaque image devienne une œuvre unique. C'est une chose primordiale dans ma démarche d'artiste. 

La seconde chose importante est que je travaille à partir de portraits pris sur l'écran de ma télévision. Je m'intéresse aux figurants des talks-shows, les personnes qui sont derrière les invités ou les présentateurs, les anonymes qui servent de tapisserie vivante pour animer le background. Il m'arrive de travailler avec des sujets masculins, mais il est vrai que je me concentre beaucoup sur les femmes. Ce qui m'intéresse dans cette démarche c'est de travailler sur cette espèce d'ambiguïté entre une image télévisée qui n'a pas beaucoup de sens, qui est vouée à disparaître et l'œuvre finale sur laquelle je passe beaucoup de temps avec mes procédés manuels. Je prends un plaisir fou à «anoblir» ces portraits satellisés au sens propre du terme. Lentement, avec patience je redonne une certaine éternité à ces images qui, à la base, ne sont vouées à rien.

MIA Fair
Corinne Héraud et sa prèmiere série de photos: Auras

TG: Quelles sont le duex séries que vous présentez ici à Milan?

CH: La première s'appelle les "Icônes cathodiques". C'est une série en noir et blanc qui marque vraiment le début de ce travail avec les portraits télévisuels. C'est une série que j'ai débutée en 2009, il y donc déjà quelques années. J'ai employé une technique que j'appelle le pelliculage jet d'encre, c'est à dire que je réalise un tirage que je trempe dans un solvant de façon à décoller l'émulsion du papier que je replace ensuite sur un autre support. C'est inspiré de ce que l'on faisait avec la Polaroid parce que dans un premier temps, j'ai beaucoup travaillé avec les Polaroids et notamment avec les pelliculages que j'adorai. C'est d'ailleurs grâce aux Polaroids que je suis venue à la photographie plasticienne et artistique. Lorsque Polaroid a cessé de produire, je me suis mise en quête de procédés qui pourraient me permettre de retrouver cette technique. Depuis je suis sans cesse en train de chercher des idées, des techniques et des medium nouveaux.

TG: Il a fallu faire beaucoup d'experimentations?

CH: Eh oui, absolument. Ma technique ne fonctionne qu'avec un seul papier et pour le trouver j'en ai essayé 30 ou 40 différents ! C'était un gros investissement et, enfin, j'ai trouvé ce papier qui me permet de le faire, voilà ! Ça été un grand bonheur pour moi parce que j'ai retrouvé ce plaisir de décoller l'émulsion, comme autrefois avec les Polaroids. En plus, le résultat est très aléatoire avec des effets de craquelures liés au temps de séchage, à l'humidité et à la chaleur au moment du tirage.

TG: Après il faut coller l'émulsion sur un autre papier?

CH: Avec le solvant j'obtiens une espèce de peau est très fine, très fragile que je récupère sur un papier japonais. C'est au moment du séchage que les rétractations, les plis et les craquelures apparaissent. Ensuite, je colle ce papier japonais sur un autre support rigide. Pour les Icônes Cathodiques je les colle sur du bois.

TG: Très interessant. Vous partez d'un negative?

CH: Non, a la base c'est un photo numerique de mon écran de télé prise avec un appareil qui n'a pas beaucou d'intérêt, quasi bas de gamme. Je m'interesse qu'à saisir grosso modo un visage, une silhouette, un peu de lumière, beaucoup de noirs et blancs, du flou pour créer quelque chose qui soit quasi universel. Je veux rester en <surface>. Ensuite, je fais un gros travail sur cette photographie brute pour amener les visage dans mon univers.

TG: Quel genre de tirage vous réalisez?

CH: Je fais un tirage noir et blanc avec une imprimante grand format à jet d'encre sur mon papier spécial qu'ensuite je trempe dans le solvent. C'est ce fameux papier qui a la particularité d'avoir l'emulsion que se décolle dans le solvent.

TG: Savez vous s'il y a quelcun d'autre qui pratique cette technique?

CH: Sincerement, je crois pas. En tout cas, je n'ai jamais croisé qualcun qui pratiquait cette technique, mais ce n'est pas un situation très confortable car je suis tributaire d'un papiers qui n'est pas fabriqué pour cette usage artistique et le moindre changement dans l'émulsion (Ce que m'est déjà arrivé chez mon fornisseur) peux avoir un énorme impact sur le resultat voire même rendre impossible ma technique. Et comme je suis la seule à l'utiliser avec cette fonction-là, je suis un peu prisonniére. Mais si un jourcela ne fonctionne plus, alors, ce ne sera pas très grave car je me remettrai à cercher autre chose!

TG: L'image obtenu dans cette façon est bien stable dans le temps?

CH: Oui, absolument. Mes tirages sont realisées avec des imprimantes professionnelle Epson et des encres pigmentaires, exactement comme celles utilisées puor le tirage vendus de façon générale sur le marché de l'art. De plus, j'ajoute En plus, j'ajoute de l'acrylique et des vernis. Mes tirage sont donc très protegées du temps qui passe et des UV.

A gauche les Icônes Cathodiques de Corinne Héraud

TG: Et pour les "Auras", comment vous  réalisez la couleur?

CH: Pour les Auras je travaille la couleur avec Photoshop, c'est donc un traitement numérique. Techniquement il s'agit d'un tirage dont je trasfère les pigments sur un autre support, en l'occurrence du papier aquarelle. Avec ce procédé assez aléatoir aussi il peut avoir de <défauts> et c'est ce qui m'interesse a y beaucoup d'imperfections et c'est pour ça que m'interesse. Ce n'est pas un tirage qui sort diréctemente d'une imprimante et les relatives imperfections qu'on obtient partecipent à la vie des visages qui sont proposés.

TG: Est-ce que la couleur est la seule difference entre les deux séries? Ou même les soujets?

CH: C'est surtout le temps qui est passé depuis 2009. Cela correspond à une évolution personnelle avec le besoin qui s'est fait sentir de travailler avec la couler. J'ai beaucoup tâtonné pour trouver la façon de la faire intervenir dans mon travail mais aujourd'hui je le révendique enfin! Les Auras ne sont pas forcément plus <légérs> que les Icônes Cathodiques, mais Ia couleur est là!

Tous les droits sont réservé