Considered one of the most gifted photographers of her generation, Valérie Belin has conceived a large-scale exhibition at the MUba that retraces her entire career in a hundred photographs. This exhibition is the first to present such a complete selection of the artist's work, from the 1990s to the present.
In this dense and spectacular display, the different series exhibited testify to the stylistic renewal as well as the fundamental continuity of her work. Valérie Belin seems inhabited by the meticulous quest for an aesthetic as immediate as it is disturbing. Are the photographed subjects animated or inanimate, natural or artificial, real or fantasized?
Without following a strictly chronological thread, the exhibition shows the developments and evolution of the work. From film to digital, from black and white to color, from objects to humans, from the organic to the virtual, beings and things are considered as so many appearances where the surface signifies interiority. Through the different series, the exhibition gives access to the artist's imagination. Valérie Belin questions the sometimes complex relationship we have with our body and its representations. Her latest series entitled Heroes (2022) thus takes up an often represented figure, that of the clown and the miner, who seek to entertain while revealing a truth.
Resolutely anchored in a reality that shapes us, Valérie Belin's art seems to introduce a disorder. She plays with the multiple expressive possibilities of photography (black and white, overprinting, chromatic modification, framing, etc.) to put at a distance a conventional perception of the subject. In doing so, she reactivates our imagination.
CURATOR OF THE EXHIBITION
Valérie Belin, Mélanie Lerat, director and Christelle Manfredi, deputy director of the MUba Eugène Leroy.
"Valérie Belin. L'incertaine beauté du monde", Atelier EXB / éditions Xavier Barral, Paris.
Preface by Mélanie Lerat, director of the MUba Eugène Leroy and essay by Sébastien Gokalp, director of the Immigration Museum in Paris. About 110 color and B&W images. Bilingual book in French and English. 190 pages, price: 39€.