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“Queer theme is an important topic in my work…” Edouard Taufenbach

By Francisco Lacerda

Spéculaire. © Copyright All images Edouard Taufenbach

Edouard Taufenbach born in Paris, in 1988. Edouard has been featured in The New York Times, Le Figaro or BBC. Taufenbach explores the time, memory, art, and the reappropriation photos into collage-based artworks. At the Sorbonne, while studying cinema, he became fascinated with film editing. “For each collage, I find a detail that is the touchstone of the image…”. Taufenbach also looks for intimate moments of daily life. Although he is not a Queer artist, he explores men and women activities relations and hedonism, that also include homosexuality in a stereoscopic effect. Some of these photos are from director Sébastien Lifshitz. Lifshitz’s work involves gay themes.

Spéculaire. © Copyright All images Edouard Taufenbach

In domestic stories, Edouard painted photographic prints, family vernacular photographs from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. He also multiplies by varying the cropping and painting with stained glass. Inspired by the practices of found footage, where found footage of lambda film is reused as a medium, being painted, scratched stripes.

In each of the collages, the forms from the same matrix, mimic the cinema in its film form – they also evoke previous techniques of capture as the chronophotograph of Etienne-Jules Marey or Eadweard Muybridge.

Domestic Stories. © Copyright All images Edouard Taufenbach

An interview between Francisco Lacerda and Edouard Taufenbach.

FL – When did you decided to explore the art and techniques from Josef Albers, Etienne-Jules Marey or Eadweard Muybridge?

ET – It has never really been a conscious decision, but rather the result of chance and circumstances. I have great admiration for the work of Josef Albers and when I started working on HOMMAGE 2, I chose to build 26 variations from the same shape. Josef Albers’ Homage to the square was formidable as a starting point, at once simple but mysterious – they lend themselves to an infinity of possible interpretations. As for the Chronophotography, that one concentrates on cinema and the moving image it is an almost unsurpassable model.

Josef Albers’ geometric and chromatic experimentation. © Copyright All images Edouard Taufenbach

FL – In this works, I instantly thought from distance that they were tiles from Zellige or Iznik. But in short distance, we see a completely different type of work – a new and different story.  The beauty and artistic concept which allows the spectator to see Op art. Do you consider this works, or your work, “Serendipity”?

ET – It’s funny that you think of tiles – I’m a ceramic collector and I’m passionate to abstraction in this medium. My first works were inspired by the paving of churches in region of Venice that I had visited. For the rest of your question it’s both that these painted collages seek a balance between subject and shape; aesthetics and story. They were a bit like memory crystals or images reflected in facets.

Make a Remembrance a Shape. . © Copyright All images Edouard Taufenbach

FL – Why did you decided to appropriate from the Queer film director Sébastien Lifshitz movies? Do you consider Queer theme an important subject for your work?

ET – Following the film Les Invisibles (2012) Sébastien Lifshitz published a book where he presented some pictures of this collection of anonymous photographs that inspired him for the film. I was immediately attracted by these images they were rare by their subjects and their qualities. I contacted Sébastien by his editor and after having presented my previous work he agreed to share this collection with me. I do not know if the Queer theme is an important topic in my work, but it is in my life – yes.

Especular. © Copyright All images Edouardtaufenbach

FL – What is the future of Photography and art, in your opinion? What is your next project?

ET – I think the separation that has long distanced contemporary art and photography is now disappearing, and it is a very good thing. I feel, myself, sense of belonging to a generation of creators who do not question whether they are photographer or artist. For the future, I am working in parallel on two projects very distant from one another: one, on the migration of swallows and their flights in the sky; and the other on Marlene Dietrich.

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