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Olivier Richon

Press release

Olivier Richon – Allegories

Allegories ranges from work made between 1983 and 2016. Always taken in an interior, these photographs depict the life of objects and animals, calling attention to the fixed, static and arrested time particular to photography: a dream-time confined to interior spaces. Here the space of photography is purely imaginary, even if it uses everyday objects and animals.
The parrot looks like an illustration for learning words… P for parrot, but it also reminds us of a literary parrot, the one Flaubert writes about in his short story, A Simple Heart. Like a photograph, parrots are eloquent but have no sense of grammar. Farm animals, out of place, wander in the corridors of a provincial art school… A bunch of asparagus, tied together, is stubbornly silent. A broken egg hosts a butter knife… Vegetables are compared with geometric forms…. Two lemons hold books open… An academic monkey stares at the spectator. This is not so much a metaphysics of objects than a paraphysics of forms -this so-called science of imaginary solutions. Here image making recalls the dictum of Salvador Dali… Photography, pure creation of the mind (1927)
Olivier Richon was born in Lausanne in 1956; he studied at the Polytechnic of Central London, where he received a BA (Hons) in Film and Photographic Arts in 1980. Since 1980, his photographs have been exhibited internationally and collected by institutions such as London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Musée d’ art moderne des la Ville de Paris, Essen’s Folkwang Museum, the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Brooklyn Museum, the National Gallery of New South Wales, and at Tate Britain. He is professor of photography at the London’s Royal College of Art.