Different stories are intertwined in Noémie Goudal’s images, alternating the reality of the scientific references she’s inspired by with the artificiality of constructed scenes. Although the illusion appears perfect at first, the artist takes pains to leave visible clues that partially reveal the process of making the image. This doesn’t rob the image of its magic; on the contrary, by shunning special effects and photomontage software Noémie Goudal experiments with the empirical construction of an image on the spot, rooting fiction in the very heart of nature. The resulting landscapes lead us towards an indeterminate elsewhere.
At Le Grand Café, Noémie Goudal takes us on a vertiginous voyage through layers of time and space. The starting point for her new series Post Atlantica, presented in this exhibition, is scientific research into paleoclimatology. Her new video and photo installations all begin with a fascination for the extreme mutations of landscapes where geological time overtakes our experience. Tropical forests, mountains, deserts, etc. subjected to the force of natural elements like water or fire are any number of generic motifs for apprehending tomorrow’s changing climate. This recent series is envisaged as a choreography of landscape, where a mechanical ballet of photographic scenes portrays the Earth as an unstable entity of fragile ecosystems.
The layout of the exhibition disrupts our frame of reference by arranging the appearance and disappearance of the image – or even the off-camera scene – in space. This mise en abyme of image-making places the visitor inside a visual and representational adventure, inviting them to participate in a game of perception, observation and vision that ultimately asks the broader question of what we are looking at, and what is looking at us.