The art of Julien Segard begins, rests and thrives between two ends of the spectrum. It is a dialogue between the visceral and the peripheral, vacuity and mass, the potholes and the stars, purity and corruption, the distinct and the intangible, the organic and the man-made. He dives head-first into the milieu, which is his prime source of artistic inspiration, forming a narrative of experiences that explore the relationship between man, landscape and architecture.
In Praise of Shadows is a two-channel video installation that has been shot entirely at night over a period of 3 months across Panaji, Old Goa and Mapusa. The narrative, emerging out of nights spent roaming on the edges of a territory, examines the legacies of power, religion, violence, and resilience through the relics of ancient and modern history, probing the logic that encapsulates time.
Two large projections extend on two walls to build an immersive experience mixing sound samples and images. The alternation of irradiant screens and sudden darkness, stark sounds and heavy silence, breaks the narrative into fragments where the glimpse of a broken world of ruins (abandoned objects, skeletons of collapsed billboards, vacant spaces) coexists with recently built infrastructure like an omen of the latter’s fate. Raw footage, an unwoven succession of images, evoking a constant tension and traces of the imperceptible. A bath of blaze and darkness.
When the river sleeps, the reflection is brought from the surface of the water to the underground, where traces of human activity are engraved on the walls, on the pillars, in the dust. The foundations of the modern world seem to link the archaic to the present time, yielding an archaeology of the present.
Time is a loop, a circle with no beginning and no end.
‘In Praise of Shadows’ was exhibited for the first time on the riverfront promenade in Panjim during the 2022 edition of Serendipity Arts Festival. Two large projections extended on two screens to build an immersive experience.
About Julien Segard
Julien Segard’s work explores the frictions embedded within urban structures, the free-flowing contours of nature’s invasion into such structures, and the shared intimacies of the cityscape that allow each of us to claim others’ spaces as our own. His practice reveals glaring blind spots in our vision(s) of urban space, building a thread of connections through paintings and works on paper. Much like portraits of a city, the slivers of roads, underpasses, and flyovers that populate Julien’s work testify to the possibility of a life lived in the wastelands of a megacity.