Michel Lorand



ETE 78 – 2016

SELFPORTRAITS is a silent black and white film in which a series of portraits filmed from different angles (face, back, left and right profile, 3/4 face and back, eyes open and shut) glide slowly on a screen, from right to left. These are the portraits of three models, in a line of descent: the artist, his father and his son. The images file past in chronological order, from the youngest to the oldest and vice versa, in a continuous loop. This succession is based on a progressive, constantly moving “morphing” of the different portraits. We are therefore never given to see any one of the three original portraits, as they are transforming all the time and therefore elusive. This self-portrait is therefore both multiple and changeable.

UNSELF refers to the black and white images printed on paper which are captures from the film SELFPORTRAITS, images that are contrasted in the extreme in order to depersonalise them, to make each of the faces illegible. They are stuck on the very wall.

PSALM is the last piece in this puzzle. Paul Celan recites his poem from the 1963 collection Die Niemandsrose: “no one will bless our dust. No one”.

Just as there is a back and forth motion within SELFPORTRAITS, there is another one between SELFPORTRAITS and PSALM. There is, as Paul Celan suggests, “a road, a language without I and without You, nothing but He, nothing but That”. The exhibition UNSELF is an exposure of a face-to-face, or as Celan calls it in The Meridian: “a place where the person was able to set himself free as an — estranged — I”. In this attempted encounter there is the responsibility to “account”.

Jean-Claude Encalado, lecture: