Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques



Sergio Valenzuela Escobedo

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North of Egypt, in the Mediterranean Sea, there was an island where the material known today as calcium sulphate semi-hydrate was once abundant. This material was commonly sourced by the Egyptians for their construction industry. The Greeks, who were very knowledgeable about Egyptian affairs, called this material ‘gypsum’. The white gypsum used in construction and sculpture, owing to its characteristic of hardening quickly when mixed with water, is the material harnessed by the anonymous lovers in a short story written by Cortázar in 1980, Graffiti. This story inspired the title and concept of the exhibition at the Calais Art School proposed by Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques. […]

La Ronde de Nuit


Magali Nachtergael, Regards du Grand Paris, published by Textuel, CNAP, Ateliers Médicis

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A tribute to the work of Lewis Baltz and Rembrandt, La Ronde de Nuit (Night Watch) is a project linked to alternative communication technologies. After several months of work, Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques, supported by a team of researchers and programmers, has developed an application called Night Watch, which makes it possible to set up a discrete, encrypted and undetectable telecom mesh network based on the mesh network system. Used by the army, for example, it allows messages, such as SMS, to be exchanged directly, free of charge and anonymously via Bluetooth. Through a series of eight photographs, Tactical Maps, Couzinet Jacques makes visible the “hot” zones where exchanges from his application for civilian use have been the most intense. The aerial views, taken over the housing estates of Les Bosquets and Le Chêne Pointu in Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil, are however covered with black and coloured spots. […]

Sub Rosa


Caroline Von Courten, Foam magazine #52

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Sub rosa, the Latin expression for secrecy, immediately directs our attention to what we do not see in the newest body of work by French artist Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques. The close-up views of gestures and body limbs of young adults linger in the ‘in between’ of day and night. Partly obscuring, partly revealing, the transition between the sighted-ness of the day and the blinded-ness of the night is stretched, so we can explore more fully this state of twilight. […]

A Garden in Eden


Natacha Wolinski, Le Monde d’Hermès

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Usually, when someone buys a house it’s because they need a roof over their head or plan to start a family, or even to speculate. Last spring, Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques bought an old building in the United States, but you’d have to be pretty shrewd to guess what he really means to do with it. One thing he has stated clearly, though, is that “the house will be both the subject and the object of a future artwork”. That’s both a little and a lot of information. Couzinet-Jacques acquired this house with an art grant provided by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of the immersion programme it runs with the Aperture Foundation in New York. These two patrons proved mad enough to be enthused by what looks very much like a utopian project. […]

The Threshold of the Visible


Agnès Sire, Eden published by Aperture

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At the invitation of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, I shouldered the responsibility of submitting projects by ten photographers to the selection panel for the foundation’s program Immersion: A French American Photography Commission, created in partnership with Aperture Foundation in New York. The panel was tasked with selecting one of the ten projects, which, when completed, would be exhibited and published by Aperture in the U.S. […]

Photography at test


Interview with Laura-Morsch Kihn

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Through a writing that asserts a documentary commitment while imposing new aesthetic codes, Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques is part of a new generation of photographers at the frontier of several disciplines (videos, sculptures, sound installations…) while renewing the predominant photographic genre in his work. The images he manipulates are always signs of our contemporary era in its darkest face-fragments of a ghostly American city, economic crisis, rioters with blurred outlines - are among the strong figures he deploys. […]

The stasis of images


Etienne Hatt, Artpress 2 #34

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Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques documents critical states: the slow disownment of the southern part of the United States (The Park, 2012), the Spanish economic crisis (Standards & Poors, 2013), the 2011 urban riots in Great Britain (Outstanding Nominals,2013). In all cases, crisis leads to the undifferentiation of situations. Are the relegated peri-urban American areas that Couzinet-Jacques has explored, so different from those he photographed in Spain, hit by the crisis which causes real estate projects to stop, marking words like “for sale”, “available” in the landscape? Isn’t the face of social protest the same when hidden by the hoodie that haunts the images
from security cameras, some details of which the artist has captured? Couzinet-Jacques focuses on these similarities as they pertain to stereotypes. […]

Sub Rosa


Mira Anneli Naß, Sub Rosa by Spector Books & C/O Berlin

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In a culture where the world and images are more intertwined than ever, the world itself seems to have become an image. Back in the late 1930s Martin Heidegger described the “Age of the World Picture,” meaning a world understood as image. In an era dominated by social media where images are sent around the world electronically, this world-as-image most of all means that photographic practice has become a means of social participation. Human experience is automatically conceived of in photographic and filmic terms; as a result, it is consistently aesthe- ticized as well as reified as a commodity. Jean-Luc Nancy writes: “The more widely images are distributed, the more manifold forms they take, the more powerful their effect, the stronger the suspicion that the image and images are more deceitful than ever.” […]

New territories


Kim Knoppers, catalog of the artist members of Académie de France in Madrid 2017-2018

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After speaking to Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques at length last summer I understood why he applied for a residency in northern Greece in 2016. In Kavala to be precise. For him it was the right environment in which to gather photographic material for his Parallax Maps (to premiere probably around 2020), a video in which 3-D realities and the real world combine to form a new world, a new territory. He was creating that territory based on digital information on facts derived from scientific documents, archaeological studies and economic reports, as well as on the physicality of existing cities, for which Kavala had the right characteristics.[…]

Photography & Capitalism


Interview with Camille Balenieri, INHA

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Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques is a photographer trained at the Beaux-arts in Marseille (2010) and the National School of Photography in Arles (2012), now based in Paris. His work is part of an experiment in the limits of the medium, coupled with a questioning on the legacy of social documentary, especially in the United States. Winner of numerous awards and residencies (SFR Young Talent Award, Levallois Photo Festival, Immersion program of the Hermès Foundation Foundation and Aperture …), he has exhibited his works abroad as in France, notably at the Bal à Paris (2012). ) or the Aperture Gallery in New York (2015). In 2017-2018, he was an artist member of the Académie de France in Madrid. […]

Restoring Enchantment to Eden


Ted Loos, New York Times, Sunday November 27

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EDEN, N.C. — The trees were turning yellow, orange and brown the weekend before the election in this town of some 15,000 people just a mile from the Virginia border. Something about the fall palette and the once-bustling streets lined by rows of shuttered businesses strongly suggested the work of the photographer William Eggleston and his knack for forlorn, deadpan details. There were an unusual number of “Lost Cat” posters plastered on telephone poles, and Trump signs were thick on the ground, a harbinger of his victory both here in North Carolina and nationally. […]

The near, the low, the common


Mathieu Buard & Joël Riff, Galerie Particulière

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The near, the low, the common is a concept that Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques borrows from Emerson in a speech : American Scholar (1837), a manifesto that would reform American literature by forging a whole culture through attention to the familiar, the insignificant, the usual. This is how the new continent would break with the old world. […]

Standards & Poors


Léa Bismuth, Le Bal

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What is left? This simple question, in so few words, opens up a world. What to do once it has happened? What to do afterwards? Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques walks, describes areas on a map that he has to survey. The crisis has come and gone, ruining Spain only to abandon it, like an ungrateful cyclone. But, unlike the battlefields, the economic war takes place on other territories, with other consequences. […]

Outstanding Nominals


Sandra Adam-Couralet, Salon de Montrouge #58

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In the current bubbling of photographs available to all forms of manipulation and media, Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques is interested in dark or over-exposed images, blurred, crumpled images, almost impossible to decipher. What makes an image, he asks himself? In his turn, he uses the photographic medium not to relate reality, but to reiterate the stereotypes that make it up. Games of memory and forgetting. In what way does iconography prevail over form? What Georges Didi-Huberman develops under the name of “survival”. Under what conditions does a form become visible or visible again?[…]