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ʻ우리 자신으로부터 우리를 분리시키는 사진ʻ

『Alone Together』를 보고 알게 되는 것은, 모든 사진에 사람이 비치고 있다는 것, 그러나 그 인물들은 평소 우리들이 사람과 접할 때의 거리로 찍혀진 것은 하나도 없다라는 것이다. 그것의 불가사의가 조금 전부터 내 마음을 사로잡고 있다.
많은 사람의 모습이 멀리에 있어서 아주 작다. 물가나 하늘이나 바위 등, 사람이 없는 공간이 화면의 대부분을 차지하고 있어 처음에는 아무도 없는 것지만, 잘 보면 그 일각에 우두커니 사람의 모습이 있다.
가까운 거리에서 찍혀진 것도 있지만, 그것들은 초점이 이탈되어 상이 흐릿하다. 수중에 뛰어드는 사람이나 주행 중의 차에 타고 있는 사람 등, 움직이고 있기 때문에 상이 흔들려서 흐릿한 경우도 있다.
여기에서 느낄 수 있는 것은, 미연에게는 인간의 존재감을 두드러지게 하려고 하는 관심은 전혀 없다는 것이다. 오히려 투명한 포자와 같이 가볍게 해, 공중에 뜨게 하려고 하고 있다. 그것은 거리에 서 있는 사람의 모습을 다중노광한 사진에서 상징적으로 나타나 있다. 사람들의 모습이 겹치고, 윤곽이 녹아서, 등가인 존재로서 풍경 안에 뒤섞여있다.
바다나 하늘이나 암석군이 크게 차지하고 있는 사진이 많이 보이지만, 그렇다고 해서 사람들이 그것에 삼켜지고 있는 느낌은 받지 않는다. 그것은, 거리를 두면서도 그 인물들에게 눈을 집중시키고 있기 때문일 것이다. 뾰족한 바위 위에서 양산을 쓰고 있는 사람, 하늘 높이 올라간 비치볼을 바다에 서서 받으려고 하는 남자들, 흰 뱃길의 흔적을 그리며 선회하는 보트를 탄 2인조….
미연은 그러한 사람들의 모습을 지그시 응시하고, 사진에 찍혀진 그들도 또한 우리들은 알 수 없는 먼 무엇인가를 지그시 응시하고 있다. 많은 사람들이 검은 실루엣이 되어 줄 지어 있는 사진에서도, 그들의 시선은 한곳에 쏠려 있다.
서문에서 미연은 이렇게 쓰고 있다.

군중 속에 있으면, 나는 사라져 버린다.
‘수많은 나’, ‘큰 나’의 안으로.

‘나’가 사라져 버리는 것은 두려움 아니라 오히려 그 상태를 영입하려고 하는 것을 느끼지만, 이 말에 접했을 때, 한 생각이 내 마음속에 떠올랐다. 어쩌면 이 감각은 그녀가 사진을 통해서 안 것이 아닐까라는….
뭔가를 지그시 응시할 때, 사람은 바라보는 그것 속으로 들어가게 된다. 거의 감지 못하는 사이에 대상물과 하나가 되어 자신이 사라져가는 감각을 맛보게 된다. 시선이 향해진 대상이 작으면 작을수록 바늘구멍을 빠져 나가는 것처럼 보는 집중도는 높아지고, ‘나’의 소멸은 달성되는 것이다.
‘사진을 찍다’라는 행위는 찍혀진 대상을 반복해서 보는 것 이외에 아무것도 아니다. 그 반복에 의해, ‘나’에 구애하는 자신에게서 해방되어, 세계에 향해 걷기 시작하는 감각을 기쁨으로서 몸에 새기게 된다.
사진이 본원적으로 가지고 있는 이 특성을 미연은 『Alone Together』에서 하나의 사상으로써 제시하고 있다.  – 오타케 아키코 (작가, 사진평론가)

 


 

I and Thou

In its new exhibition, Anne Clergue Galerie is happy to present the photographic series of 16 images from I and Thou by the South Korean artist Mi-Yeon. It was a reading of the book by the philosopher Martin Buber that gave birth to this artistic work. Mi-Yeon questions the relation between the outside world and herself, through a poetic vision informed by a powerful aesthetic sensibility.

A native of Seoul, Mi-Yeon studied photography at the Icart Photo school in Paris. From earliest childhood, she wondered about the place occupied by her own “I” in relation to the world and to others. She was naturally drawn to the work I and Thou by the philosopher Martin Buber, who argues that all our relations lead us into a bonding with God, the eternal “Thou”. Buber considers human beings to be defined by two pairs of words, “I-It” and “I-Thou”. The first expresses our relation with the other, the fact of revealing, in the form of experience and feeling, how we interact. This is the world as we experience it, with bonds that we can identify and distinguish. As to the “I-Thou”, it expresses a far more spiritual relation between “me and thee”. This view allows an abandonment of the area of feeling, so as to place, at the heart of our reflections, the interaction with another “I”, which could equally well between a person and a tree or between two individuals. It implies a forgetting of oneself, a shift of one’s individual center, in order to focus it on the interaction.

In this reading, the photographer poses a true philosophical conundrum. She uses this decentring of oneself, bringing to light what lies between ourselves and another individual. Mi-Yeon reveals what is usually invisible during our exchanges, whether spiritual or real, with an entity other than our self. It is a profound reflection on the functioning of the human soul in connection with the universe of another dimension, where notions of time and space are blurred. Her photographs are never identifiable portraits. Although the human being often stands at the heart of her images, the play of fuzziness, the blurred, vaguely anthropomorphic contours, never depict a face or a character trait.

One only recognizes the human, like an entity incarnating the “I”, as if the human were the only distinguishable “I”. The use of the personal pronoun thus becomes paradoxical, at once specific to a person and incarnating a set of individuals.

These photographs provide an approach to oriental thought, particularly Taoism, where “the other is a variation of myself”. The characters that one perceives project this thought by the orientation of their gaze towards the horizon. This vision, borne to the far distance, guides the viewer to the observation of something unidentifiable. Mi-Yeon releases us from ourselves through this very graphic work. The artist performs a sort of process whereby a print on “washi” paper is re-photographed with a digital camera. Some prints are silk-screened. She obtains a highly graphic rendering, with pastel and luminous colors, marked by strong contrasts. The grain of the suggests a vague texture as if the relation with the world has materialized.

This perceptible approach to an element that we cannot identify with the naked eye elicits a sensitive and poetic perspective on the part of Mi-Yeon. The viewer is completely lost in the midst of this artistic work, inundated by feelings. Her Taoist philosophy reveals a quest for wisdom aimed to achieve harmony. This places the heart and the mind on the path (the Tao), in other words, on the path of nature. Mi-Yeon causes the innermost nature of the human being to surge through a vision initially focused on herself. Her highly altruistic orientation is inspired by her contemplation of the exchanges with the world that surrounds her.

This sensitive outlook, once unveiled, forces contemplation. The photographic series “I and Thou” demands a forgetting of oneself. The mind roams her work, reflecting on the relations that we maintain with others, with nature, and with the world. Mi-Yeon succeeds in transmitting her philosophy, her images take possession of her thought, thereby becoming the incarnation of herself, of her “I”.   – Anne Clergue Gallery 

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I and Thou

Anne Clergue Galerie, lors de sa nouvelle exposition, est heureuse de vous présenter un ensemble de seize photographies de la série photographique, I and Thou, de l’artiste coréenne Mi-Yeon. C’est à la suite d’une lecture du livre du philosophe Martin Buber que ce travail artistique est né. Mi-Yeon interroge la relation entre le monde extérieur et elle-même à travers une vision poétique mêlée d’une grande sensibilité esthétique.

Née à Séoul en Corée du sud, Mi-Yeon étudie la photographie à l’école parisienne, Icart Photo. Depuis toute petite, elle se questionne sur la place que tient son propre “Je” face au monde et à l’altérité. Naturellement, elle s’intéresse au livre I and Thou du philosophe Martin Buber, mettant en avant le fait que toutes nos relations nous amènent à être en lien avec Dieu, qui serait le “Tu” éternel. Selon lui, il y aurait deux paires de mots définissant les humains, le “I-It” et le “I-Thou”. La première définition exprimerait notre relation avec l’autre. Ce serait le fait de montrer, sous forme d’expérience et de sensation, comment nous inter-agissons ensemble. C’est le monde tel que nous le vivons avec des liens que nous pouvons identifier et distinguer. Le “I-Thou” quant à lui, exprime une relation beaucoup plus spirituelle entre le “moi et toi”. Cette vision permettrait un certain abandon du domaine de la sensation, pour placer au coeur de notre réflexion, l’interaction avec un autre “Je”, qui peut autant être une relation entre un être et un arbre ou deux individus entre eux. C’est donc un oubli de soi, le déplacement de son centre individuel afin de le focaliser sur l’interaction.

De cette lecture, la photographe, nous transmet un vrai questionnement philosophique. Elle utilise ce décentrement de soi, faisant apparaître ce qui se situe entre nous et un autre individu. Mi- Yeon montre ce qui est habituellement invisible lors de nos échanges, qu’ils soient spirituels ou réels avec une entité autre que soi. C’est une réflexion profonde sur le fonctionnement de l’âme de l’être humain en lien avec l’univers d’une autre dimension ou la notion de temps et d’espace semble disparaître. Elle ne fait pas de photographies avec des portraits identifiables. Bien que l’être humain apparaisse très souvent au coeur de ses images, le jeu sur les flous, la vision trouble des contours de formes anthropomorphes, ne permet en aucun cas de distinguer un trait de visage ou de caractère.

C’est seulement l’humain que l’on reconnaît, comme une entité incarnant le “Je”, comme si l’être humain était le seul “Je” que nous pouvions reconnaître. Parler de ce pronom personnel devient donc paradoxal car il est à la fois propre à chacun mais il incarne aussi un ensemble d’individus.

Ces photographies s’approchent d’une pensée orientale, notamment le taoïsme, où “autrui est un variable de mon moi”. Les personnages que l’on perçoit mettent en avant cette pensée par l’orientation de leur regard sur l’horizon. Cette vision portée sur le lointain, guide le spectateur sur l’observation de quelque chose de non identifiable. Mi-Yeon nous libère de nous-même à travers ce travail très graphique. L’artiste exerce un jeu de traitement en utilisant une  impression sur papier « washi », qu’elle re-photographie ensuite à l’aide d’un appareil digital. Certaines sont sérigraphiées. Elle obtient un rendu très graphique, aux couleurs pastel et lumineuses où de forts contrastes se dégagent. Le grain des images nous amène à percevoir une certaine texture, comme si la relation que nous entretenions avec le monde était matérialisée.

Cette approche perceptible d’un élément que nous ne pouvons pas identifier à l’oeil nu fait l’objet d’un regard sensible et poétique de la part de Mi-Yeon. Le spectateur s’oublie pleinement au milieu de ce travail artistique donnant naissance à des émotions qui nous submerge. Sa pensée philosophique taoïste, montre une recherche de sagesse visant à atteindre l’harmonie. Celle-ci place le coeur et l’esprit dans la voie (le Tao), c’est-à-dire dans la même voie que la nature. Mi-Yeon fait émerger la nature intérieure de chaque être humain à l’aide d’une vision, qui au départ, est portée sur elle-même. Son orientation très altruiste s’inspire de sa contemplation sur les échanges avec le monde qui l’entoure.

Ce regard sensible dévoilé ne peut qu’être contemplé. La série photographique “I and Thou” impose alors un oubli de soi. L’esprit s’évade au travers de son oeuvre ce qui aboutit à une réflexion sur les relations que nous entretenons avec les autres, avec la nature et avec le monde. Mi-Yeon parvient à transmettre sa philosophie, comme si ses images prenaient possession de sa pensée, devenant alors l’incarnation d’elle-même, de son “Je”.   – Anne Clergue Galerie 

 


 

I and Thou

Mi-Yeon’s photographic series, « I and Thou » follows her reading of Martin Buber’s book.
Mi-Yeon’s photography explores the relationship, the relationship between oneself and the world.
There is no identifiable portrait or individual identity function in this work.
We are miles away from the selfie. Rather than egocentric, Mi-Yeon’s work is ego-dicentric.
Echoing Taoist and Buddhist teachings, the photographer states that « The other is a variant of
myself. In this series, I try to convey our soul’s connection with the universe which exists in another dimension, one without space or any notion of time. »
– Nathalie Gallon (curator)