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Past exhibition

Terminé le 31.01.21

Yves Auquier. The fleeting moment

The exhibition L’instant qui fuit retraces the journey of Yves Auquier. Photographer of the intimate, he focuses on the living, on passing time, on the familiar and on the fleeting moment, summing up his own trans-versality by the concept of “intimist realism”. He worked in black and white in a serial way throughout his career, meticulously filing his negatives in binders based on particular subjects and compiling new collections from them. He mainly published his series in the form of portfolios which he printed himself using the silver process.

In Pays Noir (Black Country), his first book, published in 1970, Auquier paints the picture of the Charleroi region. He sees grandeur and beautywhen others, including the inhabitants of the “Black Country”, see darknessand ruin. He wishes to convey his vision, share through the image, and achieve this through the subtle simplicity and sensitivity of his gesture.

The series les mineurs (The Miners), published in the form of a collection in 1975, places Man at the centre of the photographs. Loneliness, comradeship, the mine, darkness and the harshness of work are some of the subjects present in these photographs. Yves Auquier captures spontaneous images, while others are more posed. A few years later, in 1984, Yves Auquier sets out to meet the Sicilians settled in Belgium. In his series entitled Sicilicum, he takes the time to discover the habits of this immigrant population.

In his Bruxelles (Brussels) portfolio, published about 1970, Auquier immerses us in an urban universe: saturation of lights on roads, speed, crowds, ever-present movement. Pictures follow each other and invite us to travel though the city sitting on the front seat of a car lost in the traffic or clinging to the stanchion of a tram. His collection of thirty black and white photographs, la vie de famille (family life), published in 1970, focuses on the family unit. Moments of life go by beneath the photographer’s lens with the photographer taking his own family as a model. Idle times, these gaps in everyday life, have the spotlight in the series. Naps, meditative rest, reading, children’s games are so many moments stolen from the appetite of time. The subject of swimmers takes shape in the films of la vie de famille. Photo- graphically speaking, he uses close-up views of his subjects, only showing the body and the water, without taking the outside setting into account. The liquid element becomes a subject in its own right and invades the field of the image: the ripples on the water and the reflections modulate the background.

After focusing on humankind, Yves Auquier turns his interest to the world of the living as a whole, with plants and animals becoming his models. As in the rest of his production, atmosphere has a key part in his photographs.
With characteristic modesty, Yves Auquier talks about his work in these words: “I simply did things I liked doing” and the full value of his work does actually emerge through this simplicity.

© Musée de la Photographie