Jean-Luc Moulène
Head Box

Head Box is not the representation of a space but a real space that remains in the domain of sculpture which the artist develops in parallel with his photographic practice. Created for an exhibition in Kitakyushu in Japan, it is painted green, a color that symbolizes life and creation in Japanese culture. Even though we are confronted with a hollow presence, this is above all a space to lodge a body in the vertical posture of the living. This form can appear like a refuge – an isolating booth – that allows one to be confronted with one’s self, to construct a mental space. In the first instance, it can conjure up the formal questions posed in abstract art or minimalism, but, in fact, one quickly experiences it as an intimate space. It refers to architecture but remains far from any spectacular effect. There are also probably references to the history of relations between color and architecture.

After training in literature and working in advertising, Jean-Luc Moulène became known in the 1990s for his 'documentary' photographic practice. His images could be considered as studies of natural and cultural phenomena; the Objets de grève ( Strike objects) series (1999) documents objects made in factories during social protests. Moulène uses the codes of media images and diverts them to liberate the gaze and produce a new imaginary. This poetic tactic is manifest in the series called Disjonctions, in which Moulène photographs still lives, portraits, daily urban scenes. The notion of disjunction, which can be interpreted in the grammatical sense ('or', 'either... either...') or in terms of logic (an alternative in a dilemma), is manifest in the image by the disunity of the elements in the composition. The artist is not just a photographer, he increasingly creates relations with drawing, sculpture, objects, texts and newspapers. As a counterpoint, when asked what unites his work, the artist responds that: "An absurd evidence, a horrible revelation,a burst of laughter..." (Interview with Briony Fer, « Chaque quelconque », ibidem.) His works tend towards evocation rather than fixed meaning, inviting the spectators to invent their own tales in this “community of storytellers and translators” (Jacques Rancière, The Emancipated Spectator). Born in 1955 in Reims, France. Lives and works in Paris.