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At first contact, Lenny Rébéré's drawings pose an ambiguous and floating landscape that requires decoding work and mobilizes our full attention. The image struggles, struggles against our will to apprehend it in its totality, to describe it, to understand it. She fights against our gaze, tests it and imposes on it its own movement, its indistinctions and its breaths. It is hardly if it offers him the opportunity to rest on a detail in particular, so much there are intertwined.

“Series of images scroll across my screen”: to take hold of the world by zapping without being able to give any value to what passes before our eyes. The artist, here, poses as a spectator, even a tax collector, taking snatches of lives, photographs of events, advertisements ... from the internet flow of these digital images made public and available to all who no longer allow other alternative than to feel the intimacy of anonymous beings, that the artist mixes with his own, with his history, with his images (photographs of vacations, friends, places and landscapes visited). Evocative of a chaotic and saturated world where one no longer discerns the singular by dint of seeing too much, where the intimate and the collective find themselves linked, Lenny Rébéré's practice thus begins with accumulation.

Then comes the time for recomposition, when the hand replaces the eye and mobilizes memory. The images are then placed on the paper or on the canvas. The process is long, the technique precise: by the continuous gesture of drawing, Lenny Rébéré places action and will at the heart of creation. These images then gradually recover the physicality of which their digital nature, far removed from the physico-chemical one of the first photographs, had deprived them. For these orphan images, multiple and devoid of body, it is the time of synthesis and reincarnation.

Fragile, vibrant, transparent as layers, however, they do not manage to settle completely, but rather remain in a singular and confusing in-between where everything seems both near and far. The plans merge, the composition almost gives up any projection; In the end, only the ghostly image of a fleeing landscape inhabited by indistinct figures or bodies suspended and as if locked in the framework of an empty support. Things, places, times merge, entangle, overlap and contaminate each other to compose a third hybrid image, which is as much fiction as reality. A computer-generated image acting like a dream, by remanences, by fades, by successive impressions.

Here the real mingles with the possible and makes up a living screen on which our phantasies can be inscribed, the emergence of which is all the more striking as it takes us to both sides of the mirror. Oscillating between the desire to emerge and the temptation to withdraw into itself, the image that has become a phenomenon therefore reconciles the aesthetic category of the visual (the image) and the ontological category of the event (the moment of perception. ): the action is no longer only described in, but produced by the image, both object and subject of our gaze, now capable of “making visible the organizing activity of perceiving”. *

Thibault Bissirier, October 2015

* Attributed to Paul Cézanne.

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