La Seine *

La Seine *

La Seine
Argentic paper
17.8 x 24cm

Yky uses photography to symbolize urban resilience. His works are generally presented as diptychs, a series of two images (a stage 1 image and a stage 2 image) that combine to make one piece. The first photograph (stage 1) illustrats a hazard. This image is developed using a traditional chemical development technique employed in photographic darkrooms which fixes light and darks onto the photographic paper a permanent way. The second image (stage 2) is an image of that same hazard but produced using an iteration of the chemical development process that does not fix the lights and darks of the image in a permanent way causing them to forever change depending on the light in their environment. The stage 2 image is developed on silver photographic paper where some areas of paper are chemically treated with fixing or developer agents at given dilution and time, and some are not. As a result, when exposed to light the entire image continues to develop in a way that dependent on the brightness, the UV index, and the refraction angle of light on the paper. This unpredictable development due to a multi-parameter process mirrors the elements of urban change and resilience. In these works, light symbolizes the hazard.

Considering himself a “citizen artist” Yky came to photography as he was seeking a better way to communicate the risks, hazards, and needs of urban resilience. The entire basis of this work is that the images can never be stable. This recalls that the stability of an urban space, though resilient, can never be taken as granted.

La Seine questions how to balance tactics of mitigation and adaptation in the case of city flooding. Simultaneously, the work sheds light on our duty to protect our cultural heritage, acknowledging that its conservation also preserves our identity.

On his piece, Yky states:

In the first picture, the incongruity of the perspective is not detrimental to appreciating the architectural heritage visible in the background. In the second picture, only two houses in the forefront can be with the remaining cityscape darkened, questioning how to strike the right balance between urbanistic, environmental and sociological dimensions.

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*Yky is an emerging artist, this exhibition is his first international show.


Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, FR