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Olivier Metzger at TH13

We Came Along this Road

The autumn exhibition at TH13 presents the intriguing photographic work of Olivier Metzger. We Came Along this Road is the mysterious journal of an artist in search of the essential, inner quality of his human subjets, or landscapes – taking an approach comparable to that of a theatre producer.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Olivier Metzger at TH13
© Olivier Metzger

Olivier Metzger signs his work with a halo. In the Nightshots series a Marilyn Monroe lookalike, a strange blue house emerging out of the darkness, a fawn attracted by the camera lens, are captured, magnified and transfixed in the light of a chosen moment. The rich, deep, omnipresent blacks give the pictures an extraordinarily powerful visual quality.

Olivier Metzger creates elaborately ‘staged’ images, mastering genres from portrait to landscape. Paul Cottin, curator of the exhibition at TH13 stresses that he is not, however, ‘in search of some sort of formal perfection.’ Each photograph is treated as a ‘short scene’ in which the model ‘plays his or her own part, freed from the need to act naturally’, unconcerned with the faithful reproduction of reality. That way, Metzger succeeds in taking the viewer beyond the staged quality of his photographs.

Paradoxically, while maintaining a certain distance from his subjects, Metzger’s images convey a timeless, universal quality. Precious, fragile moments of grace shine through his scenes; a sense of intimacy threatens to break the surface. Olivier Metzger’s distinctive approach is rooted in this subtle equation between his mastery of staging, and his astonishingly true, accurate portrayal of sensations and emotions.

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