CLÉMENTINE ROY’S OEUVRE TAKES AS ITS STARTING POINT THE USE OF ELEMENTS THAT ORIGINATE IN POPULAR CULTURE, AND WHICH SHE THEN REFINES TO CREATE ENCHANTING WORLDS. HER ART IS PARTICULARY INFLUENCED BY THE POPULARIZATION OF THE SCIENCES AND CERTAIN TOPICS SHE CONSEQUENTLY PREFERS,SUCH AS METEROLOGY, GEOPHYSICS, MINERALOGY, NOT TO MENTION THE MIRACLE OF FLYING AND THE HUMANCONQUEST OF SPACE. AT THE SAME TIME, HER WORKS EXIBITS MORE OR LESS CLEAR REFERENCES TO THESUBJECT OF CINEMATOGRAPHY, FEATURING A COLORFUL MIXTURE OF ELEMENTS FROM THE EARLY DAYS OF CINEMA, AS WELL AS SPECIAL EFFECTS, FILM BURLESQUES, AND INDEED EVEN SCIENCE FICTION.THE INSPIRATION FOR INVERSION (2001) WAS PROVIDED BY THE PROCEDURE IN WITCH DRY ICE AND WATER ARE USED TO PRODUCE A LAYER OF VAPORAT GROUND LEVEL, THEREBY CREATING AN EPHEMERAL SEA OF CLOUDSOR,TO USE THE CORRECT SCIENTIFIC EXPRESSION A "LAYER OF ATMOSPHERIC INVERSION";. IN THE IMPORTANT SERIES PISTES PRODUCED 1999/2001, WE READILY SEE ALLUSIONS TO METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA AS WELL AS REFERENCES TO SCIENCE FICTION. PALE CELESTIAL BODIES, GREEN SWATHES OF FOG, DAZZLING FLUORESCENT SHEEN, QUASI-OCEANIC CLOUD FORMATIONS-ULTIMATELY, IT’S NOT NECESSARY TO KNOW WETHER CLÉMENTINE ROY WANTED TO PORTRAY THE AURORA BOREALIS, OTHER MAGNETIC DISCHARGES, OR TO HERALD THE ARRIVAL OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL BEINGS.THE UNDERLYING THEME OF THIS SLIDE SERIES, AND THE REASONS WE CAN LINK IT TO THE CLOUD FORMATION IN INVERSION, IS THE FACT THAT IN BOTH WE ARE PRESENTED WITH SOMETHING OBSERVED AS IF IT WERE PHENOMENOM. IRRESPECTIVE OF WETHER THEY ARE OF A NATURAL OR UNNATURAL NATURE, CLÉMENTINE ROY CONFRONTS US TO APPARITIONS. LA LAMPE MERVEILLEUSE, A VIDEO FROM 1999, REVOLVES AROUND THIS VERY TOPIC: IN A SHADOW PLAY, A GIRL COMES INTO VIEW AT THE VERY MOMENT WHEN THE STREET LIGHT COMES ON, A COINCIDENCE THAT FORGES A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE PHENOMENON OF LIGHT AND THE APPARENCE OF A PERSON. THESE WORKS ALSO CALL TO MIND STEVEN SPIELBERG’S MOVIE CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, IN WHICH THE LIGHTS APPEAR IN THE SKY AT THE START OF THE FILM PRESAGE THE ADVENT OF THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL BEINGS.THE REST OF THE MOVIE DESCRIBES THE RELENTLESS PROCESS WHICH LEADS THE PROTAGONISTS TO THE FINAL STAGE:A SURGE OF LUMINOUS CLOUDS AS THE PHENOMENOM WITCH MAKES THE ENCOUNTER POSSIBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE. AN ENCOUNTER VIA A STATE OF GREAT AMAZEMENT.

 

CÉDRIC AURELLE


IN “NIGHTSCAPES-PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE NIGHT”, PUBLISHED ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXHIBITION, STADHAUS
ULM, 2001

 

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