Martin Désilets


Martin Désilets, ”Matière noire”, états 13, 19, and 16, 2021, inkjet prints mounted on aluminum, 84 x 127 cm each. Photo : Martin Désilets. Collection (état 19) : Photo Élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland.

I explore museums. I photograph the works, one at a time, and then make them disappear by superimposing them. I explore cities. I photograph places and monuments with a lens-less camera, a blind camera.

In 2017, I began Matière Noire, a photographic work that unfolds in a long temporality, that of a lifetime. Matière Noire consists of photographing and superimposing “all” modern and contemporary visual works in a single digital file until a complete black has been obtained.

Matière Noire is an attempt at exhausting the act of photography. It is also the custodian of modernity and its legacy, echoing the works of many painters who have pared down their painting, often motivated by the wild—and utopian—desire to create a work that would be the sum of all works, or the last work, the last painting. The idea of the end summons all ends. Ultimately, Matière noire is a way of coming to grips with finitude.

My approach to photography could be described as experimental : blind work, accident, blur, the detour or the failure of certain technical parameters, protocol, repetition, accumulation, mise en abime and a certain iconoclasm are the core.

01.01. – 31.12.2023