The Portrait Room. Portrait#11: François Roux

François Roux

François Roux likes fireworks, watches science documentaries
and catches sound waves.


François Roux was born in 1988 in Besançon (France) and studied at the École Supérieure d’Art et Design de Grenoble – Valence. He had his first solo shows at CSA Space (2012) and Grunt Gallery in Vancouver (2012) and has recently participated in group shows at CAB Grenoble (2013), Musée d’Art Moderne in Saint-Etienne (2013), Galerie El Kasbah in Sfax (2013) and ERG Gallery in Brussels (2013).
Since his early works, this young artist has been questioning his relationship to the world mostly by the association of images and sounds. His quest concerns recording and interacting with what surrounds him physically. François definitely does not deal with objects, but with bytes indeed. His videos are ethereals, short, cheap. He wants them to be free from the physicality of the matter, heralds of his vision. He looks to the world, and decides how to frame it. François Roux is interested in the meaningless, the corrupted, and the smallness of the human being. In his videos, he addresses life phenomena in their different scales, making them interfere precariously. Accepting the incertitude, he crawls in it consciously, gets lost into the visible and considers the invisible to make experience of reality’s continuity.
If a formal attention makes his videos so pleasant to watch, their shortness makes them closer to photographs. Inspired by artists such as Luigi Ghirri, Robert Adams and Jeff Wall, François Roux’s background in photography and art history makes him aware of the masters-of-image’s contribution. A 30 seconds long video works as a slighltly moving image, shaked by a relatively small gesture which the artist himself likes to make. Time is a limit, and limits are exciting because they mark an invisible line in one’s perception.
In his last video series, Insomnies (2014), Roux envisages electromagnetic waves and beams of light as barriers, but also as doorways between the world we are familiar with and other possible dimensions investigated by quantum physics. Video and audio, light and sound are the elements he likes to play with, in order to reframe any so-called objectivity. He accompanies us in an abstract atmosphere. When we get used to the sound, when we start going deeper beyond the smooth surface of the screen, François switches it off, avoiding a passive bliss, which at first he seems to invite to. He looks to the sky and gets closer to it – attracted by its imperceptible infinity: he chops the landscapes in slices and subsequently displays them. He replaces his ears with microphones, in order to listen to what one can barely imagine.
François Roux likes to immerse us in a dream-like vision, then waking us up suddenly, violently.
A squirrel in the air. Blue colour in a blue pool. A pungent sound, almost a noise, on an ancient stained glass’ image. The flat surface of a lake, suddenly choppy, disturbed by the sound appearing. A broken image, an interruption out of the blue.
In accordance to the aesthetics of the fragment, his videos are like tiles of a moving mosaic and deal with life’s evanescence. Like birds flying and disappearing in the ether, waves are all around us even tough they tend to escape from our consciousness. Beauty is always interrupted, imperfect: François is attracted by its cracks and defects, channels to infiltrate in its essence. He examines the surface to suggest the complexity lying outside the framework. There is something more, somewhere: we just need to look at it for a while

After a proper rest, our sight is sharper.

Useful links for the reader:

-François Roux’s website

-François Roux’s Vimeo

-François’ exhibition at CSA Space


May 2014, Skatepark of Plainpalais, Geneva

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by Michela Alessandrini
in The Portrait Room

Wed Development by Digital Art Factory