Eric Michel

Born in: 1962

France

Biography

?French multimedia artist, he lives and works in Paris after some years in Tokyo then in Roma.

"Eric Michel work has to be tackled by successive sensations layers. Because if conceptual art crosses his artwork, this last remains confidentially connected to the feeling field. His search for immateriality is not a pure abstraction. Every installation is an opportunity to experience it. The artist questions our relationships with reality, playing on the border of material and immaterial, as a intermediary, a "boatman", according to his words. But Eric Michel is particularly conscious of the inaccessibility of the aim he is trying to reach. The only important issue for him is exploration. Progress prevails over purpose. Unlike the charismatic Yves Klein who offered us "ashes of his art", Eric Michel is decided to make us share his physical and spiritual experiences.

At first, the haptic dimension of his work surprises and this sensation with "eye’s touch" invades us. An emotion, an internal echo comes to add to this purely physical effect. The light source which enlightens, which reveals -recurring issue in art history- becomes a subject itself and finds its magnetic power in monochrome and fluorescent colors. Far from revealing a disinfected universe, neon and pure pigments, inherited from the seventies aesthetics, create a neutral transcendental atmosphere. This "light bath" confers on space a completely other dimension and feeds the ambivalence between fascination and retreat. The artist destabilizes our perception and succeeds in creating "particular visual states" as said Donald Judd about Dan Flavin.

The light materialism absorbs and plunges us into a deep immersion suitable for meditation. This same impregnation phenomenon as the one that James Turrell implements in his installations. Also there we refuse any pathos. It is not a feeling visualization and even less an inner self. The subject is evacuated for the effect benefit. Eric Michel invites us to experience the Depth; but what the Depth otherwise something unspeakable?"

Rébecca François Contemporary art historian Assistant Exhibition Curator, Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art of Nice


The Boatman

I am in love with light.
It is the most favoured medium of my sensitivity, of my work.
It flows in our lives, it irrigates our universe.
It opens the door.
Light has this unique feature, to be both corpuscular and undulatory in nature, both material and immaterial.
And for me, the artist shall be a boatman, precisely from the material toward the immaterial, from the real toward the imaginary, toward pure sensitivity.
What a better vector than light to achieve this goal?
Light as medium then, but why not as a finality?
Did I really choose light? Didn’t it impose itself upon me?
Light talks.
I hear it,
Sometimes.

Eric Michel,
Roma 2007

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