gilles conan

la bath projection 2 ( bath meant 'cool' in the 70's french and was pronounced as bat in english  ) - 2011 - nuit blanche of paris
500 w light bulb - modified zoom profile projector - extinguished public lighting /  variable dimensions

self-portraits serie ( since 2002 )
a modified theatre spotlight is adjusted in such a way that the intensity of light produced by the lamp constitutes the source that diffuses its own image. otherwise stated, the bulb projects light which projects it projecting itself.
this recursivity arises from an operation of purification, of optical subtraction of the incident occulting rays.
 the corpuscular presence of the lamp, habitually faded, here finds itself revealed.
 in the process of divestment, the act of highlighting goes against the usual function of the spotlight which is dedicated to producing the most homogenous beam possible; all 'aberrations' circumscribed.
 now everything appears.
the lamp, literally upside down within the body of the projector, is focused on itself and via a mechanism of reversal of perspective imposes its auto-affirmation.
 the phenomenon is made possible by the mirror-reflector. inverting the image of this narcissus, it becomes the means of its personification. thus it reflects back the lamp’s own presence while effectuating its emancipation by projection.
in this way, in contrast to a camera obscura, unequivocal in its reception of the world, the projector acts as a reverse camera obscura, by corollary introspective as well as outward seeking.
figure of a surface but also of a substance, the image offers itself to our perception.
its vivid specular presence carries out a crystallization of the unreal. the weightlessness and the ghostly transparency of the lamp reiterate the ephemeral, suspending a perpetual moment. in the same time tangible and ethereal, this ambivalent image revives reminiscent impressions of the spectral vision of photographic negatives or x-rays.
the bulb is surgically decomposed by its light: the skeleton of the lamp, its contours, it(s) filament(s), its pins; as well as its metallic internal base and its socket, depending on the settings. 
in filigree, beneath the autoprojection of the lamp another specular self-portrait is undercover, one which reduces the human to the organic via clinical and anatomic references.
 in this case for paris' nuit blanche, it displays the theoretic form of the colon, a (once again) inverted u, as it is represented in medical books.
interweaving aspirations and means, leds constitute the most important source of my interventions.
 the self-portraits serie cannot however be conceived of without the use of halogen lamps, due to their ‘anatomic’ structure and their symbolic charge content. 
standardized in production, each lamp differs from the next as a result of numerous random occurrences during fabrication process. the lamps thus acquire a particularity and uniqueness which finds itself more readily revealed by the transformation of scale.
the fact that a 500 watt lamp of 10 cm in length can cover a surface of several meters once autoprojected returns us by ricochet to the notion of vanity writ large.
this intention is reinforced by the energetic obsolescence of this technology derived directly from edison and since become incompatible with crucial demands for environmental efficiency. their plastic quality, both material and immaterial, contrasts with a disappearance that is paradoxically soon to be required and feeds the installation of a nostalgia by anticipation ... by projection.