f&d cartier

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f&d cartier

Wait

and See

f&d cartier

Kodak Contact Printing Type III _18 x 22_ military expiration date April 1956 exposition, September 27th, 2012


„Wait and See - Françoise and Daniel Cartier ”

Rudolf Scheutle _Sammlung Photographie Münchner Stadtmuseum

What are we looking at

Notes on Françoise and Daniel Cartier’s Wait and See-Series

‘What are we looking at’ one wonders inevitably when regarding the mostly monochrome

and pastel works of the Wait and See-series by f&d cartier. Is it just discoloured

photo paper, or some form of abstract photography One might surmise

that these objects are not photographs in the conventional sense, in that they have

involved neither a camera nor a ‘real’ object.

The term ‘abstract photography’ was originally coined by Alvin Langdon Coburn (1882-1966) in his 1916

essay The Future of Pictorial Photography. In the 1920s the Bauhaus photographer László Moholy-Nagy

(1895-1946) proposed the idea of a photography free of the camera and negative, focusing on the guiding

of light onto a photosensitive surface.

Technically speaking there are three types of camera-less photographs: photograms, luminograms and

chemigrams. The works of Wait and See reflect the last two categories. But f&d cartier do not use any

artificial light sources such as a torch, or chemical developer for painting directly on photo paper. They

are reducing their creative roles to a minimum by simply presenting various qualities of early photographic

paper and exposing it to the light present in the particular exhibition spaces. This method brings to

mind the pioneer of photography Thomas Wedgwood (1771-1805) and his experiments with photosensitive

substances. Unfortunately he was unable to fix the images, and the story is told that Wedgwood was

reduced to examining his pictures furtively by the light of a candle.

What for Wedgwood was an inevitable technical dilemma, for f&d cartier is a volitional and essential

part of their working process and artistic concern. Through a subtle interplay with the available light in

the exhibition space, the chromatic transformation of the paper begins and the flat surfaces develop

random colour patterns over time. To perceive the progressive saturation of the paper, the spectator

is asked to be patient and to remain still for a few moments in order to observe a latent process, the

meaning of which derives from the very act of being seen. Through this audacious project, f&d cartier

are able to simply and powerfully create a mechanism that reveals a passing moment, the traces of

which remain visible, in abstract nuances, on the exposed media. The fact that the Cartiers are unable to

influence the process of exposing and the final results inevitably leads us to Surrealist photography.

Surrealism was officially launched as a movement with the publication of poet André Breton’s (1896-

1966) first Manifesto of Surrealism in 1924. The Surrealists did not rely on reasoned analysis or sober

calculation; on the contrary, they saw the forces of reason blocking the access routes to the imagination.

Photography came to occupy a central role in Surrealist activity. Besides procedures such as double exposure,

combination printing, montage and solarisation, the inclusion of an element of randomness was

central to their working process.

With their work Wait and see f&d cartier are posing more questions about the essence of photography

than providing answers: what else can a photograph be At what point does a photograph become descriptive

When does the paper become more than just a vehicle for an image How does context change

our reading of the image, and the image itself

f&d cartier are amongst a small group of artists whose practice truly and constantly challenges the

structures of photography. They do not see their abstract work as turning away from reality, but rather

as a coherent continuation of what photography has always meant to them. If they insist on anything, it

is that there should be new ways of questioning what it is that we see. From the moment a photograph

exists as an object, it also exists as a colour


f&d cartier, Installation Wait and See, tests 2011


f&d cartier, Telko Fribourg CH Lonex LD1 #33, 2010, de la série Wait and See, 2010, luminogrammes fixés, 10x15cm

f&d cartier, Lumière Lugda Paris/Lyon 1911 #30, 30.08.2011, de la série Wait and See, 2010, luminogramme 11,5x7 cm


f&d cartier, de la série Wait and See, 2010, Crumière Ardex_Lumière Lypa_Kodak Velox_Defender Apex_...,2011, luminogrammes, 9x 9 x 6,5cm


f&d cartier, Wellington & Ward Seltona London 1900 #264, 2011, série Wait and See, 2010, luminogramme,18x24 cm


f&d cartier, Remington Rand, Elmira New York March 1949 #115, 19.06.2012, de la série Wait and See, 2010

luminogramme, 81/2 x 11 inches


f&d cartier, Installation Saturation, 2012, de la série Wait and See, 2010, 25 Kodak Rochester NY, US Army Contact type III, April 1956, luminogrammes, 18 x 22 inches Kunstmuseum Solothurn état au 1.12.2012 et au 3.02.2013


Veni Etiam (2009) includes 40 original works which use antique silver

bromide glass plates, dating from 1880/90, found while the artists were in

residency at the Swiss Institute of Roma in Venice, Autumn 2008. The plates

depict images of furniture, chandeliers and mirrors produced by a Venetian

artisan and photographer of the period. New artworks have been made using

contemporary digital technologies and adjusting the light and colour tonality,

evoking the frescoes and paintings of the Venetian school as well as the

atmosphere of the city.


f&d cartier, Veni Etiam #1431 and #1951R, 2009, pigment inkjet print on archival paper 300mg, 136 x 100cm cm sealed under acrylic glass, ed. 5


Veni Etiam #1469, 2009

pigment inkjet print

on archival paper 300mg

59 x 42 cm cm

sealed under acrylic glass

ed. 10


copyright f&d cartier, avril 2013

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