The series Contrevues (Juxtapositions) was realised at the Rencontres d'Arles in July 2023. It questions the gaze of the viewer of photographs, which is anonymised by the framing of the image. Strictly speaking, it is the seeing that is simultaneously emphasised and negated by the photographer's gaze. The experience of visiting a photo exhibition is represented by the mise en abîme (also known as the Droste effect, an infinite repetition of an image within an image) in order to better reflect on the encounter with the work. In this series, the encounter is doubled, creating a distance between what is shown and what is seen. Or according to the dialectic proposed by Georges Didi-Huberman - "what we see, what looks at us" - to better question what is gained and what is lost by looking.

Here, the viewer is placed at the centre and becomes the object of the shot, while his attention is entirely focused on what escapes us, what we are forbidden to see. Paradoxically, the viewer's activity is highlighted while the gaze is dazzled, in a deliberate confusion between object and subject of the photograph. This performativity of the image, which operates with double tension in this series, thus seems to replace the gaze.

The title of the series suggests this reflexivity, in reference to the derivative terms counterfield in cinema or counterpoint in music. The back takes shape, becomes a work of art, also in a playful way, by showing itself from behind.

Steph Meyers has been director of the Rotondes since 2016. From 2009 to 2019, he organised the Troc'n'Brol art market at the Rotondes and also participated with various works (photography, design, visual arts). From 2008 to 2016, he was responsible for the general programme and in particular for the visual arts of the CarréRotondes and then the Rotondes. He also coordinated the socio-cultural projects within the framework of the European Capital of Culture Luxembourg 2007.

Exhibition view

Photos © Mike Zenari / CDI, 2024