Rudy Guedj has been researching the dot and the hole as two opposites to create an image. One is formed through the accumulation of a material while the other is obtained through removal. The hole, thanks to removal of a material, reveals images and spaces. It can do so in life (the peephole for example) but it also has happened in the technological development of photography, with the early form of the pinhole camera or camera obscura. Next to allowing a representation of the outside world by the passing of light through a hole, the camera obscura was used as a device to observe phenomena like solar eclipses indirectly, allowing the study of the event safely since one didn’t need to stare straight at the sun anymore. This is still a very simple way to observe an eclipse nowadays, observing the shadow play created through a perforated sheet of paper.
In his intervention ‘Sunny 16, Looney 11’ made for the windows of Kunsthal Gent, Rudy Guedj aims at turning the exhibitions pace into a gigantic fictional camera obscura from which the projections are already predefined, constantly oscillating between abstraction and figuration to hint at the role pareidolia (the tendency to observe a specific, meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern) can play in relation to our perception of reality and of what might go beyond it. These light projections or apparitions take the surface of the building as a screen, the windows acting like “cameras” of sorts.
Rudy Guedj has been researching various anthropomorphic representations of the Sun and the Moon within medieval, spiritual, alchemical but also secular manuscripts. In astronomy and alchemy the sun is represented by a dot in a circle (a hole)☉, but it can also be represented with a face when “in splendour". In alchemy, the “alchemical marriage” is the merging of the opposites: the Red King and the White Queen or the Sun and the Moon, Gold and Silver, an essential step to achieving perfect balance within the Philosophical Mercury often represented by a serpent like creature. Placing the Moon and the Sun in dialogue on the windows of Kunsthal Gent, Rudy also connects back to his previous work ’Everything In This World Has Two Handles’, added to the Endless Exhibition in May 2019: two snake shaped door handles installed on the glass front doors of Kunsthal Gent.
Rudy Guedj (1988, FR)
With a practice that spans over a variety of mediums ranging from book and exhibition design to drawing, writing or installation, Rudy Guedj (b. 1988, FR) explores the associative processes that often lie behind the construction of narratives. The potential for pareidolia, synchronicity, or analogy in our experience of space is essential to his approach. Often bringing attention to architectural details and glimmering moments of everyday life, his practice explores the role that fiction can play in connecting various types of events, anecdotes, histories.
Next to his work as a graphic designer, he publishes art books under his imprint Building Fictions (BF). BF, sets out to explore ‘building’ as a methodology, with the intent to highlight the potential of storytelling within practices at the intersection of art, design, architecture, literature. While investigating fictional strategies and their potential within artistic production, BF wants to find out where those strategies are at play in the context of real constructions, could those be made of concrete or be more ephemeral, metaphorical, thus anchoring the effects of fictions within the real world.