Home Magazine A gaze into the mists of time. The vision of Anne and Patrick Poirier

A few days ago by sifting through my library, I found a beautiful catalogue dedicated to the artist duo of Anne and Patrick Poirier, published on the occasion of a past exhibition titled "Anne et Patrick Poirier. Vagabondage argentiques, 50 and de bricolage photographique" held at the Maison Européenne de la photographie in Paris (September 6th - October 29th, 2017).

Inside, this beautiful book I discovered a wonderful artistic universe, also thanks to the written contribution of authors like Lorand Hegyi, Laurie Hurwitz, Angela Madesani, Jean Hubert Martin and Robert Storr. To give you a taste of something that really touched me, I thought to select some interesting passages that more than me could inspire yourselves into deepening these two artists' incredible life and philosophy. Discover more about the best contemporary art artists in the People Area

As children born into a century of destruction and war... we could not remain unmoved and silent before the terrifying violence of history, of our history. Almost of our work is therefore marked by an awareness of the extreme fragility of cultures and civilization, that is to say, of memory. (Anne and Patrick Poirier)

DAY WATCHMEN | Jean-Hubert Martin

Anne and Patrick Poirier appeared on the scene during the 1960s when much was being challenged. In art, the great upheaval was know as conceptual art, a term that referred to incredibly varied activities and practices whose common denominator was the rejection of conventions represented by painting and sculpture, canvas and bronze. Although the Poiriers'work did not find its way into conceptual art exhibitions, it certainly belonged to this important trend whose network quickly formed on both sides of the Atlantic.(...) Anne and Patrick Poirier still remain faithful to the principles and innovative paradigms on with they found their career. They respond with the necessary distance to events in today's world. They rage against the wrongdoing and manipulation of imperialist states, never succumbing to literal denunciation but with a true understanding of peoples, of their history and singularity, at times even to their detriment. Plunging with their gaze into the mists of time, they are thus day watchmen(...)


Anne and Patrick Poirier. Courtesy De Chaumont -Sur-Loire


PHOTOGRAPHY, AND INSPIRED RESPIRATION | Interview with Anne and Patrick Poirier, Jean-Luc Monterosso and Laure Martin

J-LM: From the start, you favoured an experimental, extremely free use of photographic techniques. 

AP: We approach photography like painters, never striving for technical perfection, but interested in the plastic, visual qualities photography offers. 


Anne and Patrick Poirier create fictional, utopian models that act a quasi-embodiment of conceivable but artificially developed proposals for forms of civilization. A reconstruction of the past in presented aesthetically as a proposed construction for the future but always, of course, in a fictional poetic of radical imagination. Every shape every piece of debris, every architectural fragment thus takes on a poetic aura in which studied historical moments are combined with imaginary ideas for possible creations. 


Anne & Patrick Poirier, Dystopia, 2017, exhibition view at Galleria Fumagalli Milano. Courtesy Galleria Fumagalli, Milano
© Anne & Patrick Poirier. Photo Antonio Maniscalco



Self-educated photographers who are fascinated by a wide array of techniques, the Poiriers ceaselessly push boundaries of the medium. In their dense, complex corpus, the only constant is experimentation, the continual discovery of new territories. And new territories are literally a sine qua non without which their photos would not exist: each voyage, each expedition engenders a new body of work that addresses the question of time and its traces, so that moving backwards and forwards, Anne and Patrick Poirier lose themselves in the labyrinth of memory. 

FRAGILITAS | Angela Madesani

One of the common threads at the core of Anne and Patrick Poirier's work is the concept of fragilitas in the sense of transience and uncertainly, in the sense of things, of beings, of civilisations. Their entire oeuvre, considered together, is a great vanitas, in which space and volume, memory and oblivion, presence and absence alternate in a dialectical relationship. (...) Their work could be interpreted as a cross-section of the archaeology of the present. 

Cover image: Anne and Patrick Poirier. Courtesy Le Monde.


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