Practice: Photography and Film Installation and Curator
Date of Lecture: 2000-03-17
“I have always allowed myself the liberty of passing from one practice to the next. I have never considered myself a specialist of any one of them. Perhaps it is for this reason that I have been called a celibate artist, as though I had never married myself, for better or for worse, to any one discipline.” – Alain Fleischer
Alain Fleischer is a prolific French artist who has made work in almost every medium and genre. He is at once photographer, filmmaker (documentary, films on art and art films), sculptor, installation artist, writer of fiction and of criticism. Born in Paris in 1944, he studied anthropology, semiotics and literature at the Sorbonne and the Ecole des hautes études. Of Hungarian-Jewish descent, Fleischer’s visual work is often compared to that of friend and contemporary Christian Boltanski. Although they deal with similar themes, including the Holocaust, memory and individual histories, their practices remain distinct. Fleischer’s work is firmly based in the techniques and characteristics of photography and film. His photographs play with light and reflection in a manner that recalls the early experimentations with photography of the French Surrealists. In recent years Fleischer has done much installation work that plays with reflection, projection and photosensitive materials, exploring the possibilities of light and time in a highly poetic way.
Since 1989 he has been the creator and director of the Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing, France. His work has been exhibited internationally in major museums including the Centre Pompidou, the Centre National de la Photographie, Museum of Modern Art and the International Center for Photography. His most recent literary projects include “L’Ascenseur” (Brigittines éditions, 2002) “Les Trapézistes et le rat” (Seuil, 2001), “La Seconde main” (Actes Sud, 2001), “La pornographie, une idée fixe de la photographie” (La Musardine, 2000).