Michel Le Belhomme was born in 1973 in France. He studied at Rennes Art School under Tom Drahos (1999). He then went on to study at the University Rennes 2 earning a Diploma supérior of Arts Education. In 2010 he one of the winners in the Mission Jeunes Artistes (Toulouse) and the first Prix lacrtique.org– Voies Off, in Arles. Today we share his series titled, The Blind Beast.
The Blind Beast
Photography is a paradoxical means of expression. On the one hand, it is accessible to all and on the other it is an artistic practice. Indeed, the world is full of photographic images: from the simple family album to the world of advertising, including the press; our force-fed eye knows no respite, our sight is constantly carried away by the swell of images, our point of view drowns – it becomes tragically diluted in the visual whirlpools around us. And despite it all, there are still artists whose boldness adds to this magma by introducing new subjects, ideas and ways of seeing and representing. And suddenly, something happens: a photograph emerges from chaos, takes on a shape, swells with singular might – and embeds itself long-lastingly in the visual realm.
First, we shall slide easily from a place represented to an imaginary place – I mean that these spaces that can, in theory, contain us, become spaces we contain. Those seemingly protective refuges, those precarious shelters, those homes diverted from their role of safety, are nothing more than rickety boxes in our troubled mind – they are mental boxes. Mental worries of the individual constantly torn between the desire to open himself to the world and explore it and the fear of being hurt or destroyed by its contact. Then, we notice great distress in the images of Michel Le Belhomme. We arrive on the scene after a catastrophe has taken place creating a certain traumatism. Everyday spaces have been vandalized by natural) or artificial forces, or both. Where thus is one to find hope in this desolate universe? Fascination for these photographs is therefore a result of their strange form as well as their ambiguous discourse. Opposing forces create a dynamic tension that crosses these falsely static places: emptiness and fullness, loss and profusion, outer and private, dream and nightmare, order and chaos, freedom and confinement, etc. This work is indeed pertinent because of its power of suggestion – for nothing is said directly – which takes us from the personal anecdote to the existential anguish that is more universal: no one is safe from the swell that can carry us both towards reason and towards delirium. Beware of the inner storm!
Eric Van Essche, ISELP director, associate professor at ULB and Art History professor at La Cambre, Brussels
To view more of Michel’s work, please visit his website.