In Longue Durée, Nelly Agassi and Nicolas Grospierre develop a visual dialogue which revolves around time, architecture, and the physical absence of light. “Longue durée” – the long run – should be seen as a view on things, perceived over a long period of time, and focusing on the longstanding and imperceptibly slow-changing events and their consequences, and understood as perhaps the most fundamental aspects of reality.
In Heliography, Nicolas Grospierre’s new body of work, the photographer abandons one of his favorite topics architecture – to deliver works that could be seen as the antithesis of Cartier Bressons’s concept of the “decisive moment”. It is indeed the long perspective that is essential in Heliography, which could be described as photography without film, without camera, and even without paper: geometric patterns created by the sun over colorful velvet canvases, exposed over a period of five months.
The long run is equally essential in Nelly Agassi’s practice, and her re-interpretation of architecture. In Longue Durée, Nelly Agassi deals with the the biography of the building housing the Pola Magnetyczne gallery. Plein-Air, one of her minimalist yet masterful interventions, revives architectural elements once integral to the house, and which have disappeared: the windows of the gallery space. Marking the absence of these windows allows her to connect with the long history of the house and explore erasure, preservation, and architecture’s capacity to change and be repurposed by its users and by time, while at the same time echoing Grospierre’s Heliography by referring to the absence/presence of light that the windows allow, and which is fundamental in Grospierre’s works.
Born out of the visual exchange between two autonomous artistic sensitivities, Longue Duréee eventually hints at notions of time, memory and immanent change, often imperceptible to the naked eye.