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  • Brigitte Bauer's photographic oeuvre spans more than a decade with great coherence but without the concern for system that this term sometimes calls up. Initially known for her colour photographs of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, she has since pursued her reflection on the contemporary landscape through two series respectively dealing with roundabouts and the new tended green spaces in city centers or on their outskirts. This evolution has allowed for a more subtle appreciation of her work, which might have seemed to adhere to a purely contemplative current of photography, as a result of the grandiose and majestic silhouette of the Sainte-Victoire as a leitmotif. With the roundabouts and the public parks, the dialectic sustaining her approach to landscape becomes clearer; our images of nature confronted with the modifications exerted by socio-economic mutations on the territory.
    By dealing with the roundabouts she replaces the experience of a unique « museumized » site with a collection of micro-landscapes whose situation destines them to an ephemeral and distracted vision. Brigitte Bauer invites us to decipher these places without past, springing up ex-nihilo on the sites of the roundabouts. From one to the next, following the assemblages of disparate elements borrowed from landscape representation (rocks, columns, and cypress trees), the roundabouts appear as places injected with a memory, the memory of a tradition that survives through quotations and stereotypes. Her photographs realized in parks extend this thematic: removed from their historical context and recycled in their new environment, the medieval paddock, the Japanese bridge, and classical perspective become empty signs, purely decorative, the objects of an erudition which doesn't always escape kitsch.
    In this series, the artist more specifically deals with the place of the vegetal in the urban space. Not without a discreet irony, she underlines the intrusion of references to the agricultural world in the city environment: le verger, the garden, weeds, archetypes that transform the public garden into a conservatory of our preconceived notions and the theatre of bucolic nostalgia. In the purest documentary tradition, Brigitte Bauer reports what she sees in a way which is however neither bitter nor austere. The obviousness of the compositions, the transparency of the light, and the subtlety of the tones owe nothing to chance. Visual seduction is a concerted trap the artist sets for, us to protect herself from all Manicheism. The spectator will be surprised, in the same manner as the author perhaps, to enjoy these artificial, prepared landscapes, these places belonging to a culture which will be more than ever what remains once all has been forgotten.

     

    Christophe Berthoud, 2007

    Rond-Points
    Agrigente 2000 599-09

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Alexandrie 2005 1027-04

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Anduze 1997347-08

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Arles 1995 170-03

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Barcelone 2000 583-12

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Caen 2000 619-04

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Caissargues 1997 349-11

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Carpentras 1999 491-04

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Catania 2000 594-09

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Chambéry 1997 357-06

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Chambéry 1997 357-08

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Charolles 1999 554-12

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Fos sur Mer 1997 344-09

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Fos sur Mer 1997 323-07

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Grenoble 1997 356-08

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Istres 1995 169-11

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Jérusalem, 2004 901-10

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    La Clusaz 2001 655-02

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Lille 2000 647-08

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Marignane 1997 333-12

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Marignane 1997 334-05

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Nimes 1997 350-01

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Noizay 2000 640-10

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Paris 1999 480-06

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Pélissanne 1999 492-10

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Pont de Crau 2003 494-07

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Port Saint Louis 1997 315-06

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Redessan 1998 378-04

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Salon de Provence 1999 493-09

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5


    Rond-Points
    Sassnitz, Allemagne 2002 733-09

    C-print, 48 x 48 cm

    Edition de 5



    Brigitte Bauer's photographic oeuvre spans more than a decade with great coherence but without the concern for system that this term sometimes calls up. Initially known for her colour photographs of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, she has since pursued her reflection on the contemporary landscape through two series respectively dealing with roundabouts and the new tended green spaces in city centers or on their outskirts. This evolution has allowed for a more subtle appreciation of her work, which might have seemed to adhere to a purely contemplative current of photography, as a result of the grandiose and majestic silhouette of the Sainte-Victoire as a leitmotif. With the roundabouts and the public parks, the dialectic sustaining her approach to landscape becomes clearer; our images of nature confronted with the modifications exerted by socio-economic mutations on the territory.
    By dealing with the roundabouts she replaces the experience of a unique « museumized » site with a collection of micro-landscapes whose situation destines them to an ephemeral and distracted vision. Brigitte Bauer invites us to decipher these places without past, springing up ex-nihilo on the sites of the roundabouts. From one to the next, following the assemblages of disparate elements borrowed from landscape representation (rocks, columns, and cypress trees), the roundabouts appear as places injected with a memory, the memory of a tradition that survives through quotations and stereotypes. Her photographs realized in parks extend this thematic: removed from their historical context and recycled in their new environment, the medieval paddock, the Japanese bridge, and classical perspective become empty signs, purely decorative, the objects of an erudition which doesn't always escape kitsch.
    In this series, the artist more specifically deals with the place of the vegetal in the urban space. Not without a discreet irony, she underlines the intrusion of references to the agricultural world in the city environment: le verger, the garden, weeds, archetypes that transform the public garden into a conservatory of our preconceived notions and the theatre of bucolic nostalgia. In the purest documentary tradition, Brigitte Bauer reports what she sees in a way which is however neither bitter nor austere. The obviousness of the compositions, the transparency of the light, and the subtlety of the tones owe nothing to chance. Visual seduction is a concerted trap the artist sets for, us to protect herself from all Manicheism. The spectator will be surprised, in the same manner as the author perhaps, to enjoy these artificial, prepared landscapes, these places belonging to a culture which will be more than ever what remains once all has been forgotten.

     

    Christophe Berthoud, 2007