Romain Lamberet, Photongraphic poems
preface Bertrand Naivin
Romain Lamberet usually sees light as the evocation of primitive humanity. His work as a designer then consists of creating mineral and plant works where the brilliance of the bulbs they contain, filter and sculpt, is like this life which had to painfully survive the tests of Time.
In his work as a photographer, the artist sees it differently. If he shapes it, deforms and reforms it with his lights, the photographic camera allows him this time to dematerialize it to make it a graphic body and substance. Then dance on a uniformly black background yellow and white abstractions where the power of the light that his lamps worked to contain explode. The same concern to free light from its sole domestic function to question its materiality and plasticity in these strange images where he explores “the evocative force of the dialogue of shadows and lights”.
We can then see an iris here, a snake sliding through a hook there, elsewhere a heart as seen through the fibers of a muscle, elsewhere again luminescent worms. Made using hyper macro lenses, these photographs taken with a digital camera thus reveal what the eye alone cannot see and make the unseen of these extremely magnified bulbs the matrix of shapes with infinitely evocative and hypnotic powers.
He thus combines technology and poetry by making visible what escapes natural vision, while retaining a captivating indistinctness to these images. A bias which questions these two functions that photography has had since its creation at the end of the 19th century, both a scientific and artistic practice.
We can then think of Etienne Jules Marey who enriches his chronophotographs with an aesthetic dimension bordering on abstraction. On black backgrounds, white bodies or segments form a graphic broom, both visual and musical, of astonishing modernity. We can also think of the German artists of the New Objectivity who also used the close-up, even the very close-up to reveal the unsuspected beauty of everyday objects or nature, such as the photograms of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, astonishing compositions made by illuminating objects placed on sensitive paper. The poetic power of light which is at the heart of Romain Lamberet's photographic work was then revealed.
A practice that we could describe as photongraphic, from the name that the artist gave to this series and which refers to photons, the elementary particles of which light is made. A title that says a lot about his approach. These images are in fact so many attempts to enter the heart of this light that he shapes as a designer, and explores by revealing it in his photographs. It is therefore a reversal carried out by the artist who here works with light from the inside, and no longer from the outside. A new relationship which establishes for him a letting go, again very special. He who in his lamps must work and control every detail, shaping even what seems crude, here becomes the discreet and fascinated go-between of a reality that he invites us to discover and before which we are called to marvel.
If the designer creates cases for this light to reveal its symbolic charge, the artist lets it express itself on the sensor of the device to be transfigured there.
It then appears to us alternately warm and cold in its variations of yellow, orange and white. In these photos, she also reveals an unsuspected materiality, presenting a texture that is sometimes diaphanous, other times creamy, when she does not appear covered in incandescent fur. A light that is bright here, indolent there, as if shot through with its own energy.
These are fascinating interior worlds that Romain Lamberet gives us to contemplate. Those of a light that becomes cosmic but also carnal, spectral and almost organic.
Images with solar poetry that tell us about the first hours of Humanity, those during which Light, creator of life, springs from darkness.