Dans le regard de la chambre

Abstract : Through a hole, the inverted image of what is outside, is projected inside a dark room. This phenomenon,constantly at work in naturally sombre closed spaces, in the eyes of humans and most animals, occasionallyinside habitations, is also the optical principle that made photography and motion pictures possible. This opticalproblem was observed and described for the first time in Europe by Aristotle in his Problemata. Then, over thecenturies, this “camera obscura phenomenon” was studied and used to measure time and space, makeastronomical observations and experiments, produce images or theatrical performances. In the last few decades,science has demonstrated that for matter to come to life, breed and evolve, it has gradually taken hold of thisphenomenon produced by light. Through vision it plays a fundamental role in our intimate perception of theworld and our self-consciousness. However, few academic studies address its natural, technical as well asaesthetic characteristics. This research will try to bring forth a global coherence in this field. The method that weuse is founded on our artistic practice of the photographic capture of the images as they appear inside thecamera obscura. In addition, this practice is also based on an analytical approach founded on a range ofphilosophical, scientific and fictional sources including poetry and movies. We follow through these documentsthe genesis of the technical objects related to the camera obscura phenomenon. Then, our research focuses onsome artists alleged to have, or have actually utilized "optical" devices to perform their works of arts since thefifteenth century. We conclude with the approach and practice of some contemporary photographers committedto photographing the camera obscura phenomenon, whose works of arts open new perspectives forphotographic art, yet still refer to fundamental questions about art.


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Claude Martin-Rainaud. Dans le regard de la chambre. Art et histoire de l'art. Université d'Avignon, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015AVIG1143⟩. ⟨tel-01248530⟩

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