Dominique Blais

Dominique Blais
Photo 1 : Dominique Blais, portrait, ©Eric Lamouroux | Photos 2-4 : Dominique Blais, Empyrée les Drapeaux (2023), © Biennale Son / FI'NI Stud | Photo 5 : Dominique Blais, Light House, 2013, © Biennale Son | FI'NI Stud

Empyrée (Les Drapeaux), 2023

Steel and anodized aluminum chains, masts, dimensions variable.

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Xippas

Valère basilica, Tourbillon castle, silo near the train station, Chandoline power station

Flagpoles spotted in the Sedun landscape inspired Dominique Blais' project, which, as its title Empyrée suggests, encourages us to raise our gaze. He has developed a series of flags and banners in different formats, as sonorous as they are visual, made from fine metal chains. Seen from the front, the vibrating mesh reveals the sky, or some other background, and seen from the side, it darkens like a metallic rain reflecting the glare of the sun or stars. Shaken by the wind, the chains tinkle, while the steel hook that acts as a counterweight can produce a drier sound. The flags also mark the Biennale's venues.

Finale (Les Adieux), 2016

Installation: Lambda print on baryta paper, HD color video, silent, 10'44''
Dimensions of unframed print: H 125 x W 158 cm, framed print: H 127 x W 164 x 4 cm

Work presented as part of the exhibition Echos d'une collection - Works by Frac Franche-Comté

In 1772, Joseph Haydn added a5th movement to his Symphony no. 45. This was to make it clear to his patron, Prince Nicolas Esterházy, that the musicians did not wish to prolong their stay at the Esterházy palace, far from their families back at the main residence in Eisenstadt. So the composer decided that the performers would leave the stage one by one, after blowing out the candle that lit their score, gradually plunging the stage into darkness. The Prince understood the message, and the return trip was organized for the following day.

Dominique Blais "re-enacts" the gradual disappearance of the orchestra (with students from the Besançon Conservatory) and offers a double capture in photography and video. He uses the pinhole principle. A pinhole camera takes the form of a box with a tiny hole in one side that lets light in. The surface opposite this opening forms an inverted image of external reality, which can be captured on a photosensitive medium.

The two forms of image, still and moving, complement each other, each in their own way delivering a stratification of all the gestures of the performers, those that enable the music to be produced, and those that signify its cessation. The result is ghostly, fragile images with no sound.

Light House, 2013

Non-sonic video, 12'' loop
Courtesy of the artist and galerie Xippas, Paris

Produced during an artist residency at Nida Art Colony, on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania, the video Light House shows the luminous focus of a lighthouse. The double beam of light rotates in an environment saturated with red. Although the video lasts just 12 seconds and is silent, it loops like a maximum allerte, made noisy and vital by the intensity of the color.

Dominique Blais

Born in 1974 in Châteaubriant
Lives and works in Paris

A graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris (DEA Média Multimédia) and the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, Dominique Blais has developed a contextualized artistic approach from the outset. He seeks to formulate a response to the perceptions of the environment he invests in, including its less visible, less audible features. Notions of time and emptiness are at the heart of his approach. He uses a wide variety of media, in line with his project. Dominique Blais' art dialogues with cultural, historical, cinematographic and literary references, as well as with the works of other artists.  

Devices for recording and broadcasting music and sound, as well as musical references, are central to his work. His first work, Delay(ed ) (2005), two tape recorders in the same space linked by a loop system, questions both sound archiving, its fragility and rapid obsolescence, and the circulation of sound in space. The artist repeated the piece in 2008 with two black sculptures, streamlined and simplified replicas of the tape recorders, which have been reduced from sound to image (Les machines orphelines).

This materialization of the immaterial, whether sound or time, is one of the main threads running through Dominique Blais' work. As is the materialization of flows and energies. Thus, in 2008, with Untitled (Chandelier ), he resurrected the sounds (creaking, crackling floors, dripping pipes...) that once accompanied the people who lived in the apartment that is now the La Galerie art center in Noisy-le-Sec. The following year, he recorded the hertzian frequencies of earthquakes in the Tokyo region(Jishinha). Again in 2020, he played ghostly footsteps in a sound installation at the Hôtel de Rochegude in Albi, which was then taken over by the art center Le Lait.

exposure time

Other artists

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