Constance
Nouvel

Constance Nouvel
Le grand trai(c)t, 2016
C-print ( 40 x 50 cm framed )
Edition of 3 ex + 1 AP

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view - En marge, Galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, 15.01-18.03.17
Unique artwork
© Rebecca Fanuele

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view - Image Construite, Théâtre de Vanves, France, 28.03-03.05.17
Unique artwork

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view - Image Construite, Théâtre de Vanves, France, 28.03-03.05.17

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view - Image Construite, Théâtre de Vanves, France, 28.03-03.05.17

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view - Image Construite, Théâtre de Vanves, France, 28.03-03.05.17

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view - Image Construite, Théâtre de Vanves, France, 28.03-03.05.17

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view - Image Construite, Théâtre de Vanves, France, 28.03-03.05.17

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view, 2016
Unique artwork
© Rebecca Fanuele
"Premier Radiant", Galerie in situ - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris 2016

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view, 2016

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view, 2016

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view, 2016

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view, 2016

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view, 2016

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view, 2016

Constance Nouvel
Exhibition view, 2016

Constance Nouvel
Point de vue (Vallée du Niolo), 2016
Chromogenic print mounted on aluminium ( 61 x 76 cm framed )
Unique artwork
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Une étreinte, 2016
Two chromogenic prints ( 112 x 180 cm framed )
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
La Doublure, 2016
C-print ( 40 x 50 cm framed )
Edition of 3 ex + 1 AP
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Decors XIX, 2014-2016
C-print ( 70 x 70 cm framed )
Edition of 3 ex + 1 AP
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Motifs, 2016
C-print mounted on aluminium
100 x 79 cm
Edition of 3 ex + 1 AP
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Reliefs, 2014
C-print photography on plaster
14 x 28 x 14 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Constellation, 2014
C-print photography on plaster
21 x 22 x 12 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Panorama, 2014
C-print photography on plaster
21 x 33 x 21 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Velours, 2014
C-print photography on plaster
24 x 25 x 6 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Voiles, 2014
C-print photography on plaster
25 x 25 x 8 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Collection particulière

Constance Nouvel
Voiles, 2014

Constance Nouvel
Voiles, 2014

Constance Nouvel
Archive, 2014
C-print photography on plaster
20 x 9,5 x 20,5 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Filigrane III (bleu), 2014
C-print photography on wood
87 x 122 x 11 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy de l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Filigrane II (vert), 2014
C-print photography on wood
87 x 122 x 11 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Filigrane II (vert), 2014

Constance Nouvel
Filigrane I (rouge), 2014
C-print photography on wood
87 x 122 x 11 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Filigrane I (rouge), 2014

Constance Nouvel
Transition I, 2014
Triptych, Inkjet Prints in wood frame
98 x 234 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Collection particulière

Constance Nouvel
Transition I, 2014

Constance Nouvel
Transition I, 2014

Constance Nouvel
Transition III, 2014
Inkjet print and drawing
56 x 70 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Transition IV, 2014
Inkjet print and drawing
100 x 120 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Collection particulière

Constance Nouvel
Transition IV, 2014

Constance Nouvel
Transition VII, 2014
Inkjet print
90 x 100 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Transition VI, 2014
Inkjet print and drawing
90 x 120 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Transition VI, 2014

Constance Nouvel
Décors XIX, 2014
Inkjet print
70 x 70 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
La dernière levée, 2014
C-print photography and wood
80 x 80 x 6 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Collection particulière

Constance Nouvel
La dernière levée, 2014

Constance Nouvel
La dernière levée, 2014

Constance Nouvel
Incidence I, 2013
Black and white photography, semi-matt fibre base, fold and paste on aluminium ( 31 x 41 cm framed )
Edition of 1 ex + 1 AP
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Incidence II, 2013
Black and white photography, semi-matt fibre base, fold and paste on aluminium ( 31 x 41 cm framed )
Edition of 1 ex + 1 AP
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Incidence III, 2013
Black and white photography, semi-matt fibre base, fold and paste on aluminium ( 31,5 x 41,5 cm framed )
Edition of 1 ex + 1 AP
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Incidence XI, 2013
Black and white photography, semi-matt fibre base, fold and paste on aluminium ( 31,5 x 41,5 cm framed )
Edition of 1 ex + 1 AP
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Décors XIII, 2013
C-print photography and engraving on aluminium
97 x 108 cm
Edition of 1 ex + 1 AP
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Collection particulière

Constance Nouvel
Impressions, 2012-2013
C-print mounted on aluminium
115 x 140 cm
Unique artwork
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Décors XII, 2012
C-print photograph and engraving on aluminium
46 x 68 cm
Edition of 1 ex + 1 AP
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Collection particulière

Constance Nouvel
Décors VII, 2011
C-print photography
70 x 90 cm
Edition of 2 ex + 1 AP
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

Constance Nouvel
Décors X, 2011
C-print photography
Differents sizes
Unique artwork
Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc
Collection particulière

Constance Nouvel
Énième vue, 2010
C-print mounted on aluminium
42 x 52 cm
Unique artwork
© Constance Nouvel
Courtesy l'artiste et la galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc

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Constance Nouvel, Behind photos

By ANAEL PIGEAT

What lies behind photos? From her first years at the E?cole nationale supe?rieure des Beaux?Arts in Paris, in Patrick Tosani’s studio, Constance Nouvel was interested in what constitutes the photographic medium; in La 25e?me image [The 25th photo] (2010), she literally dug into the layers of paper glued together to form reliefs, each stratum of which evoked yet another off?camera (unseen) element. Whether naturalistic or abstract, in two or three dimensions, her photographs, always taken by her, explore the concepts of frame, depth of field, materials used and so on. In her early works, the grid was everywhere, not only in the compositions, but also sometimes in a literal form, printed, for example, on a plexiglas plate placed on a photo (Decors II, 2010). At the Jeune Cre?ation show in 2013, she even exhibited a straightforward photograph of a grid, a piece of cloth turned the wrong way round, the motif, as if by dint of being an obsession, extracted from the photos. A real mystery emanates from these somewhat indeterminate compositions. One is tempted to think that their content hardly matters, but we get caught up in the blues that are a little too blue, the strangely garish greens, the slightly overly?bright oranges that colour the water, skies and rocks. Hesitant, we then make out an aquarium photographed from below (De?cors XI, 2011), the decor in trompe?l’oeil of an indoor pool in Germany, in which a Riviera landscape appears (De?cors XII, 2012), the model of a mountain covered with a glass case through which we catch sight of a diorama (De?cors XIII, 2013). The artifice that reigns over these scenes is significant. Gradually, progressively, Constance Nouvel’s photos began to unfold in space, starting with Bascule [Tipping Point] (2011), a work in which a photograph, which is a little too long, sticks out beyond its frame. What looks like clouds, sea and sand is actually the reflection of the light shining through a window onto a ceiling. There’s a movement from a real space to a suggested space: that of the ceiling, photography and what is out? of?shot. The sculptural element of these works functions as a real augmentation of photography, which would seem, for the artist, to offer a detour allowing her to reposition herself within her medium. Thus the Persistants [Persistents] (2014) series is made up of pictures pasted on small plaster modules that give them a unique dimension. Over the course of her work, as others have done before her, Constance Nouvel has questioned herself regarding the possible basis for her photographs. With her most recent work, La Dernie?re Leve?e [The Last Hand] (2014), she went as far as attempting to put the frame into the image. She created a kind of thread, drawing a maze, which runs to the centre of a maritime landscape at sunset. Out of this colourful vision, all we can make out is a gradation in colour. Gradually, as we approach the middle of the image, we see a relief (like in La 25e Image). The structure of the piece evokes a games tables inlaid with marquetry, games in which the last trick is the most important. Recently, in the Incidences [Incidences] (2013) series, and perhaps in an attempt to escape her own images, Constance Nouvel began some more abstract research. Sheets of white paper were folded and unfolded and then photographed. Then prints of these photos were folded and photographed again repeatedly. Constance Nouvel is looking for «what happens between the capturing of the real and its adaptation as an image». Photos never reproduce reality, this photographer seems to be saying. At best they transpose it.

Constance Nouvel was born in Courbevoie in 1985. She lives and works in Paris. Translation, Jack Sims

Constance Nouvel

When speaking of her method, Constance Nouvel employs a statement that sheds a perfect light on her enterprise: « I choose subjects that, by analogy, can combine different spaces: the photographed, photography and the photographic. »She follows through on this wide program with a constantly renewed rigorousness and inspiration. Her work does not explore specific subjects or iconographic repertoires nor does it evidence particularly favored themes or spaces that need to be systematically explored. What it does is provide an analysis of what the medium of photography, so widely used, can still be today. Thus she has decided to examine the philology of the photographic: its history, its artifices, and its technical and semantic practices.To do so, the artist creates installation and three-dimensional dispositifs in subtle spatial settings where photography often captures the subject. They allow her to insert the critical dimension, the strategic distance, and the subterfuges that are inherent to her work, and that are underscored by the constant presence of a frame.. Thus, she creates mise-en abyme as in the image where an operator, by tearing the image in the foreground, reveals the one hidden behind it, thus suggesting a mechanism that could be repeated indefinitely; or as in the one where an observer is gazing into the paradoxically frozen image of a video screen hanging on a wall; or again in this collage done with torn images that reveal the enigmatic geology of another image. All these images are infused with a particular grace and sensitiveness that is not averse to the realms of imagination and dream, particularly through the recurring usage of the landscape. But it is a trap: by pretending to show us the poetic and aloof universe of her images, Constance Nouvel actually forces us to a sudden awareness that gives us no choice but to succumb to the irresistible charm that these images hold over us, and within which we find ourselves confined.

Henry-Claude Cousseau


Ces images actives, Code magazine

‘The truth of a statement is dependent on a particular frame of reference’, Nelson Goodman, 1978

Constance Nouvel’s approach to photography took her straight to the crux of the matter: What (else), in 2012, is there to say about this most consummate of contemporary art forms?

A question of immense scope then, artist versus monument, but also very much the archaeologist excavating the foundations of the temple: choice of subject, composition, development techniques, medium, framing, presentation of works. What’s our frame of reference here? Real world, or rather, as the artist seems to be saying, artefacts, incorporated elements suggestive of the photographer’s subjectivity?

Constance Nouvel started by meticulously drawing up the catalogue of her investigations and dissecting what goes into creating a photo. In an effort to bring out what often remains concealed on the negative, the artist seems to want to peel away the adornments that have tended to constitute the refrain of a certain type of photographic practice. She then enters into a dialogue, one could almost say a duel, with her shots. Choosing apparently anonymous and often figurative motifs - a rainbow, an abstract landscape, a sunset -, she goads her photos, searching out their limits and inventorying reactions step by step. How do images respond when played around with, torn, pared back, split into two, bent or enlarged? What does displaying them on the floor rather than mounting them in frames on the wall do to them? What do they tell us when stuck to a steel plate rather than a plastic or aluminium strip?

While photography may be an imprint of the world, Constance Nouvel’s works reveal that the imprint is always (re)shaped by the person behind the lens. And this is just as significant as any mimetic process. Pushed to its extreme, this distinction leads to the discovery that each image requires, even itself impels, its own processing. By this logic the image becomes a subject in its own right and in concert with its auteur, pitches in with its own take, compelling the artist to approach it according to an individualised, non-systematic process. Nouvel's photos become actions in themselves, gestures resulting from an instant of dialogue between the image and the photographer in a quest for the limits of subjectivity. In what is a supreme paradox then, the artist will have placed her photographs in a realm of mechanical non-reproducibility.

Constance Nouvel’s photos are visual objects doted with a temporal and performative quality (1). They are images in situation, to be experienced in and with their specific environments. In lending herself here to the exercise of the photo essay for magazine, medium of reproduction par excellence, Constance Nouvel has confirmed the logic behind her work whereby her approach to the visual object is contextual, this visual object is shaped by its new medium and this medium uses its own lexicon to return us to the image.

Elsa De Smet

1 On the notion of performativity, refer to La performance des images, ULB Livres, Bruxelles, 2010, Alain Dierkens, Gil Bartholeyns & Thomas Golsenne (ed.).

Solo exhibitions

2016
Premier Radiant, Galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, France

2014
La solution de continuité, Yishu8 - Maison des Arts à Pékin, Chine
Vers le Haut et non pas vers le Nord, Centre de photographie de Lectoure, France

Group exhibitions

2017
Image construite, Théâtre de Vanves, Vanves, France
En marge, Galerie In SItu - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, France

2016
Biennale de la jeune création, Centre d’art La Graineterie, Houilles, France

2015
Construction/apparition, carte blanche à Michel Poivert, La Galerie Particulière, Paris, France
Pingyao International of Photography festival, Pingyao, Chine
Festival Voies Off: Arles, Nuits de Projection, Arles, France
Parti(e) de Paysage, 60ème Salon de Montrouge, parcours hors les murs, Montrouge, France

2014  
La solution de continuité, exposition personnelle, Yishu8 - Maison des Arts à Pékin, Chine
ONE STEP BEYOND, exposition collective, galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris, France
A L’ENVERS, A L’ENDROIT ..., Centre Photographique D’Ile-de-France, Pontault-Combault, France
ESPERANCE TUNING, Espace des Arts Sans Frontière, Paris, France

2013
YIA Art Fair / Young International Artists, Bastille Design Center, Paris, France
Jeune Création, Salon international d’art contemporain, Le Centquatre, Paris, France

2012
Confidentiel du Yia, Paul Frèches et Dakota galerie, l’Appartement, Paris, France
Fonctions obliques, exposition collective, Espace Eugène Beaudouin, Antony, Paris, France
(Mis)perception, exposition collective, galerie Paul Frèches, Paris, France
Man-made, exposition collective, galerie Dominique Fiat, Paris, France
Réfraction, exposition collective, Espace des arts sans frontière, Paris, France
Le songe, la raison et les monstres, exposition collective, galerie Paul Frèches, Paris, France

2011             
Exposition Constance Nouvel-Manon Recordon, Espace Lhomond, Paris, France
Le Vent d’après, exposition des félicités, Beaux-arts de Paris, France
Participation au 56ème Salon de Montrouge, France
Participation à la European competition for photography ‘Goldener Kentaur’, Münich, Germanuy

2008 - 2010  
La photographie au scalpel, exposition collective,  Immix Galerie, Paris, France
Photographie : de la perception en strates, exposition DNSAP,  Ensba, France
Figures du corps, une leçon d’anatomie aux Beaux-arts, galeries d?exposition des Beaux-arts de Paris, France

Education

2010               
DNSAP avec les félicitations du jury à L‘Ecole nationale supérieure de Beaux-Arts de Paris (Ensba)

2008-09          
Etudiante à L’Université du Québec à Montréal

2005-10          
Etudiante à l’Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts de Paris, atelier de Patrick Tosani

Awards and residencies

2016
Résidence au musée Bernard Boesch

2014
Prix de l’associaton Yishu 8, Maison des Arts à Pékin

2011
Prix de la Fondation des Beaux-arts Roger Bataille

Publications

Artpress n°432, avril 2016
Artpress2 n°34, Derrière Les images, Introducing par Anaël Pigeat, août-sept-oct 2014
Revue Mouvement, Carte Blanche, parution prévue le 19.12.2013
Chronique Curiosité, 2013 semaine 47, Cérémonies, Joël Riff, 19.11.2012
Chronique Curiosité, 2012 semaine 17, Factures, Joël Riff, 23.04.2012
Des images actives, Elsa De Smet, Code Magazine 2.0 #3, 2012
Translations II, essai visuel pour Code Magazine 2.0 #3, 2012
Vitevu, Marion Duquerroy dans le blog de la Société Française de Photographie, 12.10.2011
Libération, Léa Iribarnegaray, le 28/06/2011
Les Inrockuptibles, rubrique Nouvelle tête, Claire Moulène, juin 2011
Le Vent d'après, Editions des Beaux-arts, 2011
56ème Salon de Montrouge, Editions Particules, 2011