La couleur des nuages
Video of clouds, inclusion resin, aluminium
Courtesy of the artist
This piece belongs in the already large family of machines and other mechanical, optical or electronic installations designed to capture, record and amplify barely visible phenomena, where art and science meet. Here, the colors imprisoned inside a gray sky are revealed, shimmering on a screen with the willing collaboration of an eye looking out for them. Once plugged in, the screen displays a program, credits listing all the operators and hands that contributed to this atmospheric, meteorological scenario to draw our gaze into a speculative adventure, beyond the mirror and appearances, along a journey that strongly questions metamorphosed beings, spherical geometry and the internal organization of colors. The journey begins with an image of a gray sky over St. Denis, filtered by the wind to reveal corners of blue, or completely gray, obstructed, a uniform gray veil. This veil, like a stage curtain, leads a double existence, that of a thing that attracts our gaze, with pictures and patterns, but also another existence induced by these moire effects attributed to the fabric without belonging to it, fading figures and sketches of movement inside the folds, a virtual existence. Within the aluminum gray frame, the clouds confirm their substance, both a visible nebulosity and a vaporous presence heavy with virtualities and mystery. It’s a sky at a specific point in the world, localized by longitude and latitude, a precise point taken from the airflows circulating in the hemisphere, in this giant “world game” or the constant battle between light and dark, a mirror of the artist’s studio, research and projects. As in Rilke’s poetry, the real world yields to virtuality, and the journey continues in a digital landscape on another scale, in another dimension of time and space, offering access to the cloud’s secret architecture, its differential modifications and its kaleidoscopic transformations, its secret, interior wealth: a random distribution of water droplets of varying size and volume, where rays of light reflect and refract, a floating carpet of bubbles open to light, the foaming time when it encounters space. It’s here, well coated in their bubbles, that the colors spread out in shimmering threads of reds, greens and blues waiting for the viewer’s eye to make them glimmer, to multiply the reflections of precious gems in a festival of colors inside a single drop of water that is reproduced in all others, with rapid variations; the colorful sparks bump into each other in their frenzied gravitation on the bubbles’ erratic orbits. More than sparks, it’s the brilliance of the gray sky! In the tradition of landscape painting, the clouds act as filters to reveal color through their translucence, as color is never truly revealed until light meets its opposite, opacity and darkness. Fabien Léaustic uses his creative resources in digital media to assemble these sparks of color, appearing then blurring into a gray sky, these passing phosphorescences, fugitive fragments, sparks that he accelerates and amplifies to create, in the here and now of the artwork, the brillance of the present place and time.
Fabien Léaustic, born in 1985, is an artist who graduated from both an engineering school and the national school of decorative arts in Paris. Informed by science, mathematics, mechanics, thermodynamics, Léaustic’s (re)conversion work leads him on artistic roads… roads which have been crossing and observing each other for centuries, if not forever. His quests delve into both the universe and the human mind, where he plays the role of intercessor for viewers who perceive in his installations what is not supposed to be. Light, his main tool, reveals the invisible for viewers to see and feel… while science serves art to undress the invisible and ephemeral to which we are condemned or assigned. The senses of sight and hearing are equally immobilized to liberate the viewer. Water, light, machines, sounds, optics, physics of fluids, digital technology: cosmic experience… In his installations, Léaustic sacralizes scientism through the open doors of perception.