/25 Altered landscape

Lionel Bayol-Thémines

Nature Pattern

In Lionel Bayol-Thémines’work, the pattern seems to settle as a leitmotif as attested by his latest series, Nature Pattern (2016). In each image, the artist creates a range of patterns from photographs found on the web or shot in situ (usually fragmented photographs of mountains) digitally reconfigured so that the pattern is finally lost by dint of being repeated, disappearing in favor of the final structure. Only a close observation allows you to perceive the smallest details and to attest that it deals indeed with the repetition of a photographic representation, because with such compositions, it feels at first sight as if you were seeing a wallpaper. While it is true that the representation of landscape, before being a pictorial theme, was for a long time a minor genre destined to ornamental purposes and was used as a mural, particularly in tombs and palaces in ancient times, the images of this series rather evoke the far Eastern painting, being a montage of independent elements separated by emptiness within the same pictorial space, with a viewpoint focused at the optical infinity. The landscape is no longer represented through the much-awaited paradigm of a «window-on-the-world», but through the model of the flatbed scanner, where the whole image is beeing scanned in successive times, without privileging a single point of view. The perspective resulting from the creation of these «views» excludes the viewer who is held at a distance and invited to question the meaning of this outstanding representation. The artist meanwhile, seems to enjoy this work on cloning and pattern shifting, in which chance and errors generated by computer code find a significant place. As German painter Sigmar Polke, Lionel Bayol-Thémines is tracking accidents and failures that may specifically challenge the visual order and make the image subversive. With the significant difference that his personal alchemy is digital.