French photographer based in Hong Kong, Laurent Segretier belongs to the new media generation whose work is developed through meticulous manipulation of high technologies. Keen on exploiting the binaries in life, his works touch on the tactility of human encounter through the representation by digital apparatus. Segretier would distort his own photos by manipulating the pixels of the images on the computer screen to render them unstable, where he would repeatedly reshoot the screen image with different shutter speeds until they deform into a fragmented, pixilated texture.
Memento by Laurent Segretier
The exhibition is based on three striking contrasts:
An opposition of deja-vu porn pictures and portraits of a disturbing, odd male.
The world of reality. On one side, Rick Genest (aka Zombie Boy) is known for his body which is totally covered with tattoos. He got this nickname after surviving a brain tumor at age 15 and decided to tattoo his skin. Discovered in 2010, and muse to Nicola Formichetti for Thierry Mugler, he is representative of a new reality. Is that new reality freakish, painful?
On the other side, the porn pictures were selected by the artist on websites. As consumer and observer of this dematerialized sexuality, the artist confronts us with standardized faces and bodies inspiring familiarity. There, this is a virtual world.
- Present: Rick looks like the walking-dead in a body of putrefaction. Mesmerized and radical, Laurent Segretier deconstructs his body digitally while giving him elegance in his postures. This process is driven by affection and not by a will of disintegration of the essence of the model. According to Laurent the term ‘Zombie’ is not accurate. Indeed, Rick is an angel, a fallen angel who is decomposing himself under the sight of the world.
- Future: the bodies of the women, soft and warm, joyful and playful look like heaven. And this ideal conception of woman might be at your disposal on your computer screen. However, heaven, unreachable, ideal and future turns to be fictitious and twisted as soon as Laurent imposes a digital treatment and increases the harshness of the photos.
The exhibition is full of tensions in a dynamic where pictures are in conflict. There is no preference between the skinned alive Rick and the fast food pleasure. Laurent Segretier simply shows us the lost memories of skin.