Pascal Poulain

Born in 1972

Lives and works in Lyon

"Pascal Poulain's work incorporates different forms of image and installation. But the ubiquity of photography, and, more generally, the various types of manual, mechanical and digital printing, probe the revelatory role attributed to representations of reality. The simulacra and incongruous juxtapositions that Poulain's images find within, or remove from, our everyday urban lives, and his reactivation of political slogans, are less indicative of poetics than the emptying of reality, its smoothed-out illustrations, and the modelling of our modes of life. […]

The photographic work takes place in cities such as Dubai, Shanghai, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Istanbul, Singapore, Berlin and Bangkok. But Poulain's work never hits us head-on: there is a subtle dialectic between the seduction of appearance and a distantiation of perception, immediate comprehensibility and visual destabilisation, the asserted presence of gestures or bodies and the non-materiality of processes. His photographs and installations invite us to reflect on the standardisation that is taking place in the visual environment of our societies. […]

Pascal Poulain's photographs seek out points of friction with reality, crossovers between culture and consumption, fissures in the simulacrum, hesitations in the discourse. But it would appear, contrary to expectations, that by an effect of contrast the body constitutes a central subject of his work, in that it heightens a certain distancing effect, an expression of engagement and participation in the political debate that is opened up by its representation." […]

From texts by Marie-Cécile Burnichon, 2009, and Anne Giffon-Selle, 2007-2009
Translated by John Doherty, 2014

Biographical notes translated with the support of the Centre national des arts plastiques - Cnap.