The exhibition of photographs “Exposition” focuses on psychology


LOS ANGELES – Artists often cite Californian sunlight as inspiration for their work, but during wildfires of recent years, the sky has transformed and inspired photographer Michele Asselin in a different way.

Through his lens, Asselin captured a series of haunting, otherworldly images of a smoke shrouded sun that are now part of a new exhibit titled “Exposition”, currently on display at the Louise Alexandre Gallery / AFP.

Asselin explained that “Exposure” began with an early series of photographs focusing on how sunlight interacts within the walls of a built environment, a house.

“I thought a lot about the identity of the place and I thought about environmental psychology,” Asselin said. “And I started to think of home as this ‘border’ between the outside world and the inner self.”

Asselin said that while looking at the sunlight on the walls is nothing new for artists, during pandemic lockdowns it has taken on new meaning for her.

“The wall becomes the frame for this sunlight and the sunlight, depending on the time of day, has become a living and moving subject,” she said. “And the other thing that the sunlight did, was it brought ideas about the natural world, which was really important because this conversation between the built world and the natural world became more and more. more important.

While Asselin was working on the Sunlight Walls series, the Creek Fire and other wildfires broke out in 2020, covering large areas of Southern California in a shroud of smoke and creating a powerful psychological change for the artist.

“The exterior started to look like the interior,” Asselin said. “There was this thick, dense atmosphere that almost became like a dome feel to the outside world.”

Asselin decided to combine the original mural series with the images of forest fires to form a dialogue between intimate interiors and the enormity of outdoor spaces affected by forest fires.

Asselin said the juxtaposition of the two forms of sunlight depicted in the combined series invites the viewer to consider our changing relationship with the natural world at a time when the climate crisis is an increasingly pressing issue for many.

“There is a national homelessness crisis and there is forced migration due to climate change,” Asselin said. “And so, that kind of being outside and that intense exposure to the sun had a whole new meaning.”

“Exposure” is Michelle Asselin’s first solo exhibition, presented at the Louise Alexander Gallery / AF Project space until January 21, 2022.


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