At the crossroads between fine arts and botany, my research seeks to question our relationship to the living in a sensitive way. With a resolutely exploratory dimension, my projects involve paths that give shape to kind of poetical biology. I’m searching for a high level of attention, and in order to do this, drawing and photography become a necessity; they are my main tools to thoroughly scrutinize reality.

Observation plays a key role in my process, not only from a scientific point of view, but also in terms of temporality and the questions of perception that it involves; it leads to a humble attitude in terms of our relationship to the world. It is an exercise in curiosity that attempts to gradually go through the experience of being among other living beings—not only seeing them, but looking at them, considering them, sparking new or unexpected encounters.

My pictures focus on detailing the architecture of the forms they describe, with an interest in collection, enumeration and inventory. Articulating the notions of presentation and representation, fragmentary and complementary approaches work off of each other, calling into question the very possibility of having an overall view as well as seemingly obvious perception. Thus, how is one to make things visible? By which mechanisms can images become a form of mediation, pointing out what is beyond our perception?

My relationship to reality is evolving by constantly sending me back and forth between naked-eye vision and intense and repeated magnification. There is a cascade effect in which one discovery leads to another; it is a succession of visual clues at different scales that telescope with each other. By developing the acuteness of the gaze, optical tools like the microscope allow me to extend the experience of reality.

Night explorations are also another way to experience places in a more nuanced, sensitive way; they allow us to apprehend the places that my investigations lead me to explore differently, distinguishing the manner in which night reshapes those places. Nighttime forms and deforms, expanding the scope of possibilities. The techniques of long-exposure photography and video thereby allow me to unfold silent spaces, which are orchestrated through deliberate slowness.

All works © 2020 Camille Charnay, 

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