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Xavier Veilhan

La Plage 2000 is a unique key work in Xavier Veilhan’s (1963) diverse oeuvre. An artist who produces sculptures and installations and integrates photography, film and performances into his works, Veilhan uses a computer to process many of his representational images. A recurring theme in his works is that of visibility and the conditioning of our visual habits in the digital age. Veilhan’s sculptures frequently take on silhouette-like, sharply contoured forms simplified by scanned, laser-sampled or prismatically refracted body shapes that are often also distorted by the representation of speed. Similarly, Veilhan uses extreme pixeling to resolve photographic or animated picture surfaces, thus prompting the observer to raise questions about the correct distance and the image information that is involuntarily supplemented by our perception.

An example of this is provided by La Plage 2000, which is something between a large-format screen and the traditional form of 19th century panoramas. There is a touch of irony in the presentation of an apparently historical scene, in which travellers in frock coats, reminiscent of Phileas Fogg and his servant Passepartout perhaps, encounter beach dwellers sporting strange head-dress. A parody of a Polynesian island people, they call to mind traditional concepts from the vanished world of bourgeois colonialists. Veilhan’s “cybernetic Impressionism”, as Jean-Pierre Criqui calls it, whose superficially fleeting representation expressed in reduced image information exaggerates the way we are now accustomed to seeing things, underlines the need to keep our distance so that we can more clearly perceive the events portrayed as well as their images.

Artworks

  1. Xavier Veilhan La Plage 2000, 2000

    Impression offset de cartes montées sur modules en polystyrene thermoformés
    287 x 2945 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2004
    © Photo : Andrés Lejona | Mudam Luxembourg

Marina Abramović, "Video Portrait Gallery", 1975-1998 | Collection Mudam Luxembourg | Acquisition 2001
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