EDITORIAL BY ANTOINE DARMON

Through her artworks, Danielle Aspis spends time on questions of identity and time in photography. Her main means of reflexion are the saturation of images through colours and shape manipulation. By modifying the colours and shape of a photograph, Danielle Aspis seeks to demonstrate that the photographic identity of an object or landscape goes beyond its so-called “realistic” representation. Making changes is seen here as a way to add to the identity of the photograph. Not only do we find new inspirations, but our attention is brought to aspects that we could not notice on the original cliché.

The series “Mon Arbre” offers us landscapes in their vastness and monotony. We observe trees mingling with cliffs and the blue sky, offering us a series of panoramas that are then transformed. The different changes brought to the images, in terms of colors and tones, make us interact in new ways with them. We notice a topography that may have escaped us, nuances that we did not pay attention to before. Danielle Aspis claims this landscape as her own, modifying it as she sees fit and giving it its own singularity.

This idea is continued in “Abstraction Désertique”, in which Danielle Aspis not only plays on colour but also on form. Dunes and mountains are altered, to the point of resembling images with a surreal tone and abstract forms that are difficult to compare with the original takes but yet linked. In “La Machotte”, this aesthetic is driven by the exclusive use of colour. This time, Danielle Aspis offers us a set of landscapes, but also a succession of objects. The saturation of their colors challenges us and gives us another look at objects that are otherwise part of daily life.

It is with this spirit and method that the series “CoronaFlowers” is introduced to us this year. The period of lockdown has greatly changed our relationships with space, both in its value and in its accessibility. Due to the government’s measures of March 2020, the possibility of release and therefore of research of photographic subjects became more difficult. The subject of Danielle Aspis in these confused times is a set of flowers. Changing their colors and changing their appearance transmits the need for change and the search for excitement in this gloomy and lonely life that most have experienced.

This perception of the transformed daily life is represented on a larger scale in “Paris Confiné”. We are faced with a series of places in the deserted capital. This time, the change of colors tends to give a life to these motionless places, to give them a new life. At the same time, this change of colors of the ghost town gives it its own identity. It is no longer the Paris we knew, but the one that has become a theatre of silence, a frozen moment.

In “Shoes”, we are presented with several pairs of shoes on a black background. Worn and sometimes damaged, these objects challenge us by the marks that time has left on their surface. The comparison between the original photograph and the modified and saturated one allows us to perceive the magnitude of the changes to which these objects have been subjected. Several sizes, genres and styles form this set of shoes. Not only the dimension of time is mentioned, but the question of their identity also becomes important. We imagine the owners of these pairs of shoes and their interactions through these objects they left behind. The saturation of the colors aims to make this dimension shine when so subtle in objects with such ordinary appearances.

In “Avenue Montaigne”, this fascination with objects continues. Here, Danielle Aspis gives us an experience of the windows of the famous avenue. Most of the photographs focus not only on the objects on display (coats, handbags and mannequins carrying them) but also on the reflections offered by the windows. Through them, we observe the city of Paris and its streets. Photographs of simple objects then become a study of the city and its culture. The exposed accessories become more than clothes. They become, by extension, a reflection of the avenue Montaigne.

Today, digital editing tools are often used to give an impression of realism. Danielle Aspis tends to go against this convention. By modifying the tones, colors and shapes of her photographs, she opens up new avenues of exploration. The comparison of the original takes with the transformed ones informs us of her progressive journey into the abstract of her art. This journey dotted with unreal images and yet rooted in the real world leaves us thinking. What is the limit of our ability to redefine reality in order to escape from it? And where can this need to transform it come from? Because we share a similar vision of this reality, modifying it makes it personal; this to better survive it by its singularity.

BIOGRAPHY

Danielle Aspis has been a Doctor of History and Civilization and a professional photographer for over 30 years. She has made theatre photographs, portraits of actors, reports on Haute Couture fashion shows, corporate events and private events, studio objects and art series, She also pursued graduate studies in this field until she obtained her thesis in 2014, and in 2019, she obtained a university degree in Suicidology at Paris Descartes University. Photography is the passion of her life and she sought to experiment with all its practices.

In her art series, which she offers for sale on her new website, she has made photographs of desert landscapes, photographs of flowers, photographs of confined Paris, photographs of windows and old shoes in studio, then this summer, a few pictures in her holiday home. She reworked the colors, materials and shapes with Photoshop, to obtain very abstract images for the series entitled: “Abstraction Désertique”, or very colorful, saturated and graphic for her other series: Mon Arbre, CoronaFlowers, Paris Confiné, Avenue Montaigne, Shoes and La Machotte.

During her career, she also participated in group exhibitions including the Salon des Artistes Sévriens in 2005 and 2007, the Mission Photographique of the Conseil Général de Seine Saint Denis on the theme Architecture in 1994-1995, and the exhibition organized by the Collectif Image presented at La Forge in Paris in 1993, and for 1992 and 1993, she participated in the exhibitions organized as part of the Fête de la Jeunesse and the Salons des Artistes Français in Paris. She has also made some personal exhibitions, the last one in Vichy, in 2008. Between 1987 and 1991, at the beginning of her career, she made several exhibitions of theatre photographs (École Nationale des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre, Paris, Cercle Bernard Lazare, Paris, Théâtre Gérard Philippe, Saint Denis, and Théâtre Renaud Barrault, Paris). Her last collective exhibition dates back to June 2019, at the town hall of Boulogne Billancourt, and was entitled: “Regards Révélateurs”. His last solo exhibition was held at the Mona Lisa Gallery, Paris in November 2021.

Today, through the new digital technologies, she reinvents her photographs using their potentialities, and redefines herself as an artist since she becomes a colorist again, like a painter but without the thick material of painting. Printed by Subligraphy, her transformed or altered photographs, high in color, will enchant you: as a gift or for yourself, do not hesitate.

 

 

 

UNIVERSITY DIPLOMA : 

 

2019 : University Degree: “Suicidology: Understanding, Assessing and Preventing Suicidal Risk in Adolescents and Adults”.

Faculty of Medicine Paris Descartes, under the direction of Fabrice Jollant.

 

2014: PhD thesis at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Discipline: History and Civilizations) under the direction of Jean Dhombres. “Methodology of scientific imaging based on cases from objective photographic techniques and a last contemporary case where the image takes back a freedom. The chronophotography of Etienne Jules Marey, radiology by X-rays, the photographic image detecting uranic rays and nanosciences”.

 

1998: DEA at the University of Paris VIII (UFR Arts, Department of Plastic Arts) under the direction of André Rouillé. “Theatricality in contemporary photographic works”.

 

 

 1995: Master’s degree in Science and Technology at the University of Paris VIII (UFR Arts, Photographic Image Department) under the direction of André Rouillé. “Is the Work of David Tartakover only an exegesis of History?” followed by “Towards a photographic practice of the installation”.

 

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