|The photographer Yves Trémorin is forever broadening his territory both within the medium and beyond the field of photography.
His artist's responsibility is exercised beyond the strict terrain of art, and questions the areas of society, politics and culture in general.
Last year, the commission that was the brainchild of Francois Vertadier, then director of the Regional Tourism Committee, for the Year of Gastronomy in Brittany 2008, came at the right moment in the artist's career, stimulating the development of novel forms for him, constructing another representation of the world, and trying out certain phenomena of perception, in the tradition of his earlier series.
Art borrows readily from vehicles suited to the mass dissemination of imagery: posters, post cards and henceforth new information technologies. With the aim of broadening the territory of art, the Fluxus artists, in particular, opened up the way for strategies of infiltration, appropriation, and hijack. More recently, and as one close to the artist, Gilles Mahé, whose work is incorporated “in this kind of no-man's-land situated equidistant from the worlds of advertising, the media, and art”(1), wittily tried to conquer and unite spaces hitherto famously heterogeneous.
Yves Trémorin's project, in this precise context of a commission, goes beyond the mere migration of images, from one medium to the next, and one world to the next. Involved here is the use of the specific language of art for regional tourist promotion, and come up with a new use of it, verifying in passing whether it is efficient in a conventional context. Via this invitation, tourism is symmetrically exposed to a way of looking at things that is caustic and uncompromising, at the risk of smithereening a communicational method based on a generalized euphemism and an unerringly seductive illustrative style.
For an artist who has elected to live in Brittany, and work there too, the challenge is important. Confronting his Brittany, i.e. his knowledge thereof, his line(s) of thinking about its structures, myths and fundamental features, with dictates of positive and universal communication, and the making of a message hallmarked by attractiveness, seems like a major counterpoint to the subjectivity that goes to make a work of art. The paradox of the undertaking acts like an additional goad for Yves Trémorin who, for a long time now, has been trying out and testing snapshots of representation, in particular through those traditional genres, the portrait and the still life, while at the same time relentlessly questioning the notion of identity.
The project unwaveringly summons up local products, ar goat and armor, which the artist subjects to his operational method, and his way of “examining the matter of things and beings”. On coloured backgrounds - monochrome but not in the least bit neutral - serried framed objects stand out, with the studio lighting creating shadow and depth in the image's two-dimensional space. As such, everything contributes to the sublimation of the subject. The author adds his landscape-related and mythical projections to the evocative power of the colours used: a griddle cake folded into a triangle echoes Brittany's standing stones, and the brown ground depicting the “land of woods”; the slice of salt pork, twisted, playing the part of the Saint-Malo breakwater, stands out against a whiteness that is present on both the Breton and French flags. A special mention for the theme of the mouth which, as has already been underscored (2), permeates the whole work and here appears as a tribute to workers in canneries. In this series, the mouth has a different status, as the sole fragment of the body it is also the ultimate end of the other photographic subjects. Did the artist not say, about his Still Lifes, that “everything I photograph, I eat” (3)?
Each element - inseparable but here isolated from the vernacular context - takes on an aesthetic and symbolic dimension which shifts and far-reachingly renews the understanding of the identity-carrying features of Brittany.
This novel institutional commission has triggered a line of thinking with many different implications for Yves Trémorin, by endlessly enlarging the basic idea. The joy at seeing the images joining forces with new media, taking literally the term souvenir-objects, a combination of art object, popular art, and place of memory, and anticipating a new network of artistic distribution, these are some of the experiences opened up in contemporary art on which the music-loving artist imprints his special rhythm. Like Gilles Mahé and Jean-Philippe Lemée, Yves Trémorin has become the boss of a small business - encompassing friendships and technical know-how, in order to orchestrate work phases, harmonize manufacturing teams, and overlap very different production sectors. In a word, conceive of the production line from design to sales, be it by mail order or through shops.
Questioning tourist communications through art praxis comes from a somewhat courageous hunch, a refusal to split two worlds which, these days, rarely find any point of convergence. What this project creates is a common space (but isn't this the root of the word “communication”?) at the interconnection between art and tourism, a space of mutual influence, and a critical space, too.
Catherine Elkar, Presentation BREIZHTORYTHM, in catalog BREIZHTORYTHM, FRAC Bretagne edition, 2008
Traduction : Simon Pleasance
1 In Daniel Soutif, “Rendez-vous au bar, Ghislain Mollet-Viéville, courtier en art”, Libération, 10 October 1985.
2 In Christophe Domino, Trémorin, la photo par d'autres moyens ou le tragique de la patate écrasée, Trémorin D'ar ger, Rennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1999, p. 92
3 In Laurent Salomé, Trémorin D'ar ger, Rennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1999, p. 12