Karine Laval, Photographer

June 19, 2014

Meet our friend and first featured artist - Karine Laval

We are obsessed with Karine’s most recent work and are happy to give more background information to this latest series - CRASH [Work in Progress].

THANK YOU SO MUCH, for letting us be the first ones to show some samples of your evolving series.

CRASH [Work in Progress]

I like to challenge the familiar perception we have of the world, and I often see my images as a bridge between the world we live in and a more surreal and dreamlike dimension. Genres such as narrative and performance are expanded through visual and temporal transformations of represented reality.

This body of work addresses the physicality of the photograph and my interest in exploring and going beyond the limitations and boundaries of the medium and its connection to depicting reality. It is part of a broader series of works investigating the dialog between different mediums (photography, painting, video and music), and how the information and emotions are transmitted between the analog and the digital. Through a series of processes mixing digital devices and chance operations, I am trying to address a paradox by inverting the “revelation” process inherent to photography through a succession of “erasures” and transformation of the real. I had already explored that idea through previous series of analog photographs, with water and light as the subjects and vectors for altering and reinterpreting reality, and using an inverted – and often unpredictable – chemical process in the development of the film. Here, through a lengthy and complex process, I recycle moving images to generate a new mix-media installation piece with a sculptural dimension. I am particularly interested in the idea of integrating the factor of randomness linked to the malfunction and failure of digital technology in the creative process. I see it as a way to address the paradox of our highly computerized life and the limits of the computer and its derived digital devices as a mode of mediation. Also, this way of processing and translating data (images) into light and color allows for the creation of new compositions that can be compared to abstract brush strokes. The resulting images are reminiscent of cubist and abstract paintings as well as impressionistic tableaux such as Monet’s Water Lilies. This series marks an evolution in my work and my approach to photography, moving away from figuration and narration towards abstraction and the deconstruction of representation. I see it as a form of liberation from the limitations of the medium and as a way to engage a dialog with other mediums such as painting, moving images and performance.

Process The initial step of the process involved directing and shooting a music video in my studio, using reflective (and distorting) materials as a décor, and lighting the scenes with projections of colors. Then, I simultaneously play multiple clips from the shoot on my desktop, using the computer screen as a canvas, until the machine can’t process the overload of information and some of the clips “collapse” and freeze, randomly. The frozen frames appear deteriorated and stripped of their original reference to representation with most parts of the initial image erased and reduced to pixels and abstract fields of colors. I capture screen shots of some of these glitch images, which I find evocative of contemplative natural or urban landscapes. I reproduced them in large scale as a seamless grid of multiple panels, using my pigment ink printer. It is important to me to control the whole production process of the final piece within the intimate space of my studio, utilizing my own computer and printer. In that manner I can maintain a direct physical relationship to the work I conceived and produced mostly digitally,. It also adds a layer of craftsmanship to the final image-object. The 30 panel sheets forming the final piece are installed directly onto the wall and lit by neon light to further the sculptural aura and to reference the computer screen.


I am also exploring an alternative way to present the final images as large-scale sculptural LED light boxes to reinforce the luminescent and immersive aspect of the work. The image would be printed directly onto fabric, where the grid created by the interlacing of the thread is visible at closer inspection and intertwines with the grid pattern of the computer pixilation. It is also interesting to me that the fabric surface can refer to the canvas of a painting as I see a connection between these works and painting.

Current specifications: Mixed-media installation mural (64x114”), 30-panel pigment prints, pins, and fluorescent neon light fixture


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