A FLEUR D'EAU - 11.2022
Gil Rigoulet started his career as a press photographer in 1975 and collaborated with numerous French and foreign magazines for three decades. Over the years, he worked on several projects going from his intimate realm to the public one. He experiments with black and white Polaroids and the alteration of their chemistry. His encounter with the world conveys an exuberant, spiritual, sometimes funny vision wherebodies unbride and reveal themselves. He particularly stands out with his gaze on swimming pools and the sea, as well as in street photography.
The late 70s. Gil walks down the streets and moves through crowds, driven by his desire to understand this post-68 French society. An unashamed photographic immersion where proximity to people is at the forefront, like the confidence of the human being in his daily life. In the streets of Naples, Chicago and London, a blend of euphoria, complicity and body-to-body contact can be seen.Generations come together, accusations are written on the walls and old customs clash with a strong desire for freedom. Society seems to exhibit itself, bright, sometimes grotesque, multiple and lively. Then comes underwater photography. Evreux, 1984, poolside. Endless days, bathers, bodies abandoned to the sun and water. A small amphibious camera brought by a friend paves the way to underwater visions. It’s the beginning of an ongoing body of work on water and the human body. From testimonial images, such as the Molitor pool in 1985, to the incandescent dives of contemporary bathers, the gaze is always intense. Gil Rigoulet reveals the vitality of bodies in water.
À fleur d’eau is an exhibition about photographs on body and water, taken by Gil Rigoulet over the past four decades. Whether it’s the sensuality of a movement or the harmony of elaborate graphic lines, each body reveals itself and communicates with water in its own way. The light diffraction stripes the skins under water and undulates with the movement of the surface. Waves swing bodies, humans dive into the sea with energy and the impulse of pleasure. The joy of being is reflected in a plunge, a splash. Dazzle is almost there.