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By Julie Rossello-Rochet

For several years, Lenny Rébéré has been developing his technique from collections of images on the internet, snapshots of films and personal photos. Images that he reproduces by keeping only the outlines and that he superimposes on top of each other while not deviating from the work of “stacking” lines and values in pencil and charcoal. He thus leads his drawings to the threshold of darkness, before letting streaks of light pierce, playing with the balance of white and black. These stacks of representations, sometimes shifted, sometimes cropped (close-up, details) create fortuitous encounters between the characters who inhabit them, and reveal the depths of field of the final image.

By operating away from reality, - whether it is his work in video, on paper, on canvas or on glass (etched and oiled glass) - Lenny Rébéré stages situations to come. There, an empty setting which disturbs by its destitution, here, the possibility of a meeting which will perhaps not take place. In his scenographies, the artist alternates between the staging of crowds, the agglutination of bodies to the point of suffocation of the canvas by the flesh, and that of the vertigo of absence. Each of his drawings gives off a feeling of incompleteness specific to disappearance, questioning the vacillating part of our lives at every moment.

This is how our drifts, when we look without seeing or to see better, erect around us like, what Lenny Rébéré elegantly calls “Temporary Palaces” [2016 video and sound]; those of dreams, nightmares but also those of our dreamlike visions appearing, apparently, out of nowhere.

These feelings of trouble and strangeness are invitations to see between and beyond the images by taking the time, that of the decryption specific to the rebus: enter the image to see and make work your imagination, take up the enigmas and the details; investigate, acclimatize his eye. The visual flows of advertisements, selfies, flat and smooth photographs that blind our lives here become materials at the service of a work that then encourages us to invent stories.

As a poet of the image, Lenny Rébéré engraves a world of apparitions, imbued with neo-romanticism and darkness. His line urges us to adjust our eye, to the “zero of seeing and feeling” 1 so that it can grasp with clairvoyance what these canvases offer him. The artist invites us to experience our ability to invent what we see, for the time of contemplation.

Julie Rossello-Rochet Playwright.
June 2016.

tHans Bellmer, Small anatomy of the physical unconscious or the anatomy of the image [1957], Paris: éditions Allia, coll. "Small collection", 2002.

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