Interview: Ronan Liétar
Luca Curci talks with Ronan Liétar during RITUALS, first appointment of the ANIMA MUNDI 2022 art fair, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Ronan Liétar was born in 1975 and grew up in the countryside of Nantes. His father gives him his film camera as a gift when he enters high school. He then discovers the city according to his photographic walks. He then has an attraction for colors and lines of graffiti that he reframes when shooting in order to draw abstract paintings. He turned to the philosophy of art and went to study for a year in Barcelona in Catalonia. He opens up to another language, another culture. It was while volunteering for an NGO for two years that he discovered another world: West Africa and more particularly Senegal. His photograph turns towards the portrait of the people he meets. Then he set foot in Brazil and then settled in Guyana in 2005. He then became a professional photographer. At the same time, very varied orders allowed him to discover what cosmopolitan territory, he continues to take photos as an author. A first abstract series playing on the colors and textures of the bare earth will give rise to an exhibition entitled “TERRA” in 2015 at the PK13 space.
In 2017, as part of the France-Colombia year, he spent eight weeks in residence of creation in Popayan in the Cauca region of Colombia. He will have the chance to be welcomed by the artist Edinson Quiñones who will introduce it to the Nasa and Misak Amerindian reserves. It will result in a series of diptychs relating people and their territory, exhibited during the French Guiana Photographic Encounters. Returning to his first love, he plays with color and the composition of large pixels formats giving birth to the abstract series “PiXL” which will be presented at the Stitching Nationale Paramaribo Kunstbeurs in 2018. Then, in Cayenne, he carried out the “La Réno” project. The goal is to make faces appear residents of the neighborhood on the facade of a building destined to be destroyed in order to put the man back at the heart of the urban development plan. For this, the photographer realizes the photo portraits that he pixelated and painted with clay on the concrete blocks used to wall the windows of the apartments. Earth, Portraits and Pixels: the circle was complete! In 2019, he created the BUG series and during the year 2021 he started a series of QR Portraits with the leitmotif “Our identity is not reduced to a QR Code” Today, to respond to the digital world, his artistic research is continuing in plastic photography.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Ronan Liétar – I have three upcoming projects. Participate in the OFF of the Dakar Biennale by honoring the blacksmiths. Then, I will be in a creative residency at Saint Laurent du Maroni in French Guiana. Finally, I am working on the production of a documentary film on a trip linking French Guyana, Suriname, and Brazil.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
RL – I was introduced by my parents to photography and more broadly to art. Apart from training in photography, I have a self-taught artistic practice.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
RL – It depends, sometimes it’s the idea, sometimes the realization requires the most thought.
LC – How is your creative process?
RL – I have a varied production of artworks, no doubt due to my intrinsic curiosity. Some simply come from the expression of my sensitivity. Others are based on an idea. They may require a technical discovery through research and experimentation. The “BUG” series, exhibited at this Art Fair, also appeals to a part of serendipity.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
RL – Art is one of my means of expression. My latest series “QR Portrait” has as its leitmotif: “Our identity is not reduced to a QR Code.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
RL – The BUG series presents Artifacts born from errors in transferring photos to my computer in 2019. This uncontrolled part constituting the final result can be compared with the vital force of the Stoic universe exceeding that of man.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
RL – The ITSLIQUID team is very professional. The quality of the exhibitions and the communication surrounding them are irreproachable.