Trémorin Yves

La Dérivée mexicaine

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  • Loco Éditions (2001) 1st edition
  • Text: Michel Poivert 
  • Language : French
  • 22 x 28 cm, 144 pages
  • full paper bound cover
  • 80 four-colour reproductions
  • ISBN 978-2-919507-03-0

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Yves Trémorin, during an artist's residency of several months in Mexico, set himself the objective of presenting what characterises this country from a cultural, historical and mythological point of view. With his artistic means, he brings back from the Mexican journey a fascinating set of images like an ethnologist of a rather special kind. His habit of extracting an object or a portrait through photography, of constituting, as it were, a collection serving the study he has set himself, takes on its full meaning here. Isolating his subjects as usual, here against an often black background, he plays on the position of the western explorer going to a distant country to bring back objects and images that will become like museum relics necessary to the understanding of a civilization with codes different from ours. The game is all the more powerful because, in the eyes of these photographs, a true portrait of Mexico emerges. It is constituted through the specificity of the bodies of its inhabitants and the representations of symbolic figures that it finds in its images of animals or objects and that it transposes into the field of contemporary art. Nudes or portraits with unusual gestures seem to refer solely to the field of performance, whereas they take up a sign language explicitly linked to representations buried in collective mythology. A breathtaking photograph of a black dog can refer to the figure of the Ahuitzotl, a back tattooed with the Quetzalcóatl - the famous feathered snake -, a toad photographed frontally at the bottom of a cave to the goddess Tlaltecuhtli, a stylised rabbit on a kitsch object assumed on the day of the Tochtli rabbit and its protector Mayahuel, goddess of agave and fertility. Yves Trémorin's Mexican images avoid any photographic effect in order to focus (and concentrate) on the subject. 

What is shown is never insignificant, never fortuitous: several layers of reading are to be discovered behind the apparent simplicity of the images which could, at first glance, be considered as a factual catalogue of people, animals or more or less exotic objects. In addition to references to a culture with ancient mythologies, to a people's particular relationship with death, to language games, Trémorin's Mexican work does not forget that this country has welcomed great artists. And through these images, we also find other mythologies, more photographic ones, such as the masterpieces created by an Edward Weston or a Manuel Alvarez Bravo.