Trilogy « Memories of present time »
An invitation to time travel
In a trilogy made of more than 200 photographic creations, with a subtile alchemy between present, past and future, Pierre Alivon is giving birth to a unique universe, retro-futuristic and surrealist. It is created from his photographs, postcards or unpublished documents from the early 20th century that he blends with his own photographs taken in cities across the globe. It results in a beautiful and startling experiment in time travel.
A first series named « 1900 Paris » is composed of 100 photographs that invite us to enter into old time. These images not only embody a union of time periods and a union of angles and perspective and light, but they are also a kind of union of photographers. With exquisite detail, Pierre Alivon has blended the street photos of a Parisian photographer working in the early 1900s with Alivon’s own images of present day cities. You see women in their grand Edwardian hats walking, for example, through a Times Square presided over by a billboard of JR Ewing in cowboy hat. You see a woman waiting a a street corner in an elegant flowery chapeau, a wall of tattered San Francisco paper ads tacked to the wall behind her. Pierre Alivon has stitched together two eras, just over a hundred years apart, making a photographic time loop. The resulting work is poignant, transformative and disorientating reminding that we ourselves only temporarily occupy these streets.
A second series, « Lecture du Nu » is proposing a vision of erotism in both periods. A combination of erotic pictures of the early 1900's and graphic elements, influences & visions coming from our contemporary world. The result is an erotic-retro-futuristic series. At first glance, the two different periods cannot be clearly distinguished. Pierre Alivon tried not to deform old images but to export them in our current society with today's values (money, sex, illusion of a better world,...). Pierre Alivon has the nostalgia of a period where time could be measured at a slower pace. Erotism is everywhere in our world today with fake images and photo retouching, but old erotic pictures were much more intimate and crude. These 2 visions that a century separates, create a new image. Like a prophecy of the future that could have been imagined more than hundred years ago. Or maybe could we understand this creation as a representation of the future imagined by artists in the early 1900's. Prediction or retrospective vision ?
A third series, « MétaMoRpHOse » is composed of portraits of last century. Colors and geometric effects are carefully applied with 3D effect to give different ways to see the images. It gives a new modernity to the portraits, joining different periods of time and playing with codes. Hand written messages from letters of the early 1900s are sometimes added, as if they were sent to contemporary addresses although in today’s world people do not send letters to each other anymore. It emphasizes nostalgia of the past, where time was going at a slower pace.