Coup de foudre @ narodni trida


coup de foudre @ narodni trida

Thibaut Camdessus

“It takes a lot of courage to step into what is essentially possibly another dimension.”

Interview by L. Valena

Can you tell what you responded to?

Basically, it was a text which went through all the different stages of development of a relationship- probably a doomed one. It was a bit difficult to represent all of this time and all of these potential developments into one image.

Essentially, an image is a snapshot of time. I tried to look at how I could represent time elapsing, and since the relationship I felt was not really going to happen or be sustained, I thought that maybe in a very short moment of time, which is the time of love at first sight, all of the emotions and all of the potential developments of the relationship are collapsed into one moment. This is how I got the idea to capture a limited amount of time- the time for a tram to arrive and depart, reflections of these people, this couple, and project into them a possible relationship. That's how I got to make this image. I stood at that intersection for 2-3 minutes, and captured a lot of people crossing, and these two stood out. With the art of photo composition, I made them meet, and at other times ignore each other. I thought that the center of the image would be the instant where something could happen, and on the sides of the image are all of the times when they did not take advantage of it.

Isn't it amazing how we have these moments where we are suddenly able to meet people, and to develop relationships? These little tiny moments can change the entire course of your life.

Absolutely. But it takes a lot of courage to step into what is essentially possibly another dimension. Very rarely people would do that, or would even be interested in doing that.

Especially strangers on the street. But sometimes you just can't ignore what your heart is telling you.

And would they ride on that moment or not? At the same time, in the happenstance where the story doesn't unfold, it could for many many years unfold in their dreams.

Have  you ever experienced love at first sight?

No. In the sense of feeling desire when crossing eyes with someone, yes. But actually developing it into an affair, no. But leaving it at an abstract, unreal level. I wonder to a certain extent if this is a trend. Actual love takes courage, and commitment, and I think we're in an era of very soft commitment. The potentiality of the ubiquity makes us less likely to actually do something real.

You're right- we're so obsessed with our privacy and protecting ourselves, and that all just goes away when you fall in love with someone, you just have to be whole with them. It's a very vulnerable place.

And you have to be real with all of your failures, and accepting your limits. Whereas in a digital world, you can be that ideal person, provided that you're not confronted with reality.

We curate our way to perfection.

In a way, yes.

Is this kind of photography something you do often? How is this connected to the rest of your work?

When I lived in Thailand a little while back, I did quite a few of these, but no. Most of what I do is abstract work using generative software that I write to make images. As much as possible, I try to engage people through Instagram to tell me their preferences for shapes and colors, and to create an image based on that. That goes through my Instagram. These types of time-lapse photos I find an interesting challenge of photography, and how it deals with time. The succession of instance, as opposed to one instance, especially in a very nearby moment. Richard Estes, the American artist, was very good at catching reflections of people. This idea that the time that is in the reflection and the time that the person is in front of the reflection might be off, it might be the same thing.

You're right- we kind of take for granted that when we see ourselves in reflected surfaces, that we're in the same dimension. Have you read any Murakami?

Yes, of course. And it's interesting that you mention that, because when I talked about entering another dimension it's exactly what I mean.


Very much that. She suddenly goes down a stairway on a highway, and enters another plane. That's exactly the feeling that I wanted to translate.

Do you have any advice for an artist that's going to respond to your work?

I would make it a challenge to actually make this happen. The art performance would be to actually pick someone up. I hope by the end of your process someone does that. I would find it quite interesting.

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Thibaut Camdessus: I was trained as a film director in Paris (BA Film Direction, ESRA 1983),  and directed 3 short movies about art: Pollock, Klasen and Rocher. I was twice awarded (in 1992 and 1993) the Citère Grant (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs)  to research how new media technologies could be applied to create art. I was then hired to design the world first stock market website (NASDAQ, 1995) and created the Market Site wall for for the NASDAQ IPO lounge in New York (now also a landmark in Times Square). I went on to create web sites for major brands (Morgan Stanley, McDonald’s, Encyclopedia Britannica, Bayard) and the government of Taipei. From these experiences on data visualisation, grew the desire to control random feeds of numbers to create more “meaningful” abstract compositions. After several gallery shows in Singapore and Bangkok, I was invited as an Artist Resident at the Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts.  This culminated in a retrospective of all my works at the Ratchadamnoen Contemporary Art Center. For the Club Signature of the So Sofitel I created an installation around the 5 elements of the chinese Wu Xing. At the 2017 "Livre Paris" I was invited for a performance to create 80 artworks with the fair visitors.. For the past 10 years I have been writing l'Atelier de l'Aléatoire; a generative art application.