Traditional notions of photography acknowledge the spontaneous act of capturing a moment in time and space. This approach suggests a lack of artistic premeditation. Contrary to traditional beliefs, many contemporary art photographers construct elaborate sets that ultimately portray a concept presented by a photograph as the work of art. This process deconstructs traditional restrictions of producing art within one artistic medium. Such is the case for French artist and photographer Georges Rousse.
Georges Rousse’s photography explores the concept of representing the interplay between reality’s three-dimensional space and the photograph’s two-dimensional medium. By nature of the photograph, this shift in dimensions is constant. However, Rousse exaggerates the concept through extensive manipulation of his three-dimensional space. In doing so, Rousse questions the relationship between time and space both in reality and in his photographs.
Rousse portrays his theme by altering abandoned or ruined architectural sites. After tedious decisions on composition, angle, lighting, and cropping of a particular point in the chosen space, Rousse carefully constructs a painted and plastered design. The unified pictorial design is only visible from one vantage point. This illusion of a hovering ‘geometric wash of colour’ appears as if added digitally after capturing the photograph. While Rousse’s ultimate product is a photograph, the entire process is his work of art. He constructs an illusionary three-dimensional world that is only geometrically visible on a two-dimensional picture plane.