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Du 27/10/2021 à 16:00 jusqu'au 30/10/2021 à 00:00

Everything interests Gilbert — flowers that he pulls the petals off after taking them out of their context, buds that he forces open to reveal their secret, offshoots that he trims to assess its beauty/ugliness relationship, sordid buildings done in bad taste, eternal discussions with young and old... Everything.


Passionate and curious, attentive and caring, he has a particular interest in small details and big challenges. He is surely not an observer of the world but believes that the world belongs to him. 


His predilection for cinema nourishes his universe, constitutes his meta art, his candid appreciation of the “wonderful world.” With his insatiable and tireless gaze, always well prepared, he reinvents visual narratives. Gilbert obstinately photographs his world environment to better exorcise terror.


Through random encounters and shifting reality, he puts together an incoherent set of images that he manages to unify in a syncopated, hectic, and limitless series.


For his latest project, and unlike his earlier ones, he did not develop a specific protocol. The images seem to be instinctive, free from any desire to historicize. We would be obtuse if we fell for this trick. In reality, our whole relationship to time and history is called into question there.


More than ever, this project questions the act of photography and the identity of the author. The images offer a human intensity that is anchored in current issues where the bodies seem caught. So, in wanting to deliver his world to us, Gilbert does not give us his diary like a vernacular photograph at the border of the ordinary and the popular. He does not exhibit what is withdrawn from the gaze, but rather immerses himself in an environment-world.


His choice of Smartphone is not due to its ease, nor is it adopting an amateur aesthetic to capture everyone's attention, but it is rather to completely immerse himself in an environment different from his usual one; it inevitably recalls Gisèle Freund and Herr Dr. Erich Salomon and their respective approaches to Leica and Ermanox.


Gilbert is never in waiting mode, searching for an image that would arise; he is always attacking in the availability of the photographic act for a "pure recording", focused only on the shooting. As Evans defined it "all done instinctively, as far as I can see, not consciously.


There is in Gilbert this anthropophagic force, to bring everything home, to transform any place into his artist's studio, an application on the Smartphone into his digital laboratory... All he has to do is carry a twig in one hand, make it dance between his fingers, choose a background that he noticed around him so that the mutation becomes possible.


Gilbert is an alchemist; his photography is a process of converting the bodily to the visual; he is the wizard of transformation. When did he start taking these photos, what launched this process with such momentum and at such a frantic pace? To paraphrase Yves Klein, Gilbert would have said: You don't become a photographer, you suddenly discover that you have always been one.


Text by Ghada Waked



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