2008 - 2009
Photographs various dimensions, video, slide projection, digital prints on polyester, wallpapers.
'(…) Portobello, generic name evoking a vague Latin exoticism, a city or a region (Italian? Spanish? Corsican? Portuguese? Brazilian? Mexican?), or a hotel or a night club whose old-fashioned interior and neon sign on the façade we can easily imagine, or a colorful cocktail (illustrated by a picture) on a list of drinks: Portobello (yellow), Eden (blue), Flamingo (rose, of course), Acapulco (green), Florida (red). Portobello, a place of seasonal intensification like a trademark (Portobello TM) synonymous of Eternal Summer where what counts is to live the experience of that exoticism. The sun: to live from sunrise to sunset in t-shirt and light sandals; the beach (or the swimming pool): to sunbathe, drag, laze around, exercise one’s body (an animator on a podium, Madonna-mike on the corner of the mouth, reverberates an aerobic choreography across a surface of 20 meters, to holidaymakers that trample on the sand); the see: to contemplate the horizon, practice pseudo-aquatic sports (people pulled up 10 meters higher than the sea level laugh at the vision of themselves suspended from a parachute pulled by an outboard); and then all sorts of entertainment: like those of the afternoons (to find oneself around a beer, in front of a plasma screen broadcasting a football match, or in family, watching the show of a Michael Jackson’s double or a transsexual version of Snow White performed by two drag queens), or else, later in the evening (to go out for a drink and run across a bunch of Irish young girls, whistles in the mouth and dressed in police uniforms, burying the life of single woman of one of them (the one who instead of a police cap wears a cap with a penis hanging in the middle of her forehead). It would be about living these experiences in order to authenticate them (validating, on the same occasion, the clichés they bear), so as to inscribe them (as if those clichés worked as visual landmarks) in a fictionalized reality, in an individual experience of fiction. What the “clichés” of Portobello reveal us then, are not only the stereotypes upon which that fiction is built, but most of all what those photographic moments have of specifically non decisive, i.e. the duration of that time slip, the depth of that dead time which invades and crosses the clichés, a duration where, like in a plastic film, fiction seems to be able to detach (itself) from reality. (…)’
55 colour illustrations
18cm × 22cm
in Portobello TM by David-Alexandre Guéniot