Olivier Bardin’s exhibitions challenge the image of the person. Visitors are invited into an empty exhibition space, and the show really commences as the artist asks them to become the only pictures to be seen. Thus, the self-image is the real object of the exhibition. The apparatus reveals the way this image is built up from the other people’s perception; spectators, at the same time, are watching and being watched. Eventually, they constitute a community based on mutual confidence, where perception acts as a self-balancing device.
The apparatus is made of 6 elements:
1. The place.
2. The audience.
3. The presence of Olivier Bardin or his delegate.
4. An opening statement expressed by Bardin (or his delegate) in the local language. This statement is about the desire of self-exhibition and may vary depending on the context.
5. A duration, up to each spectator.
6. Possibly: sound and picture recording equipment.
With the help of the apparatus, the spectator accepts to give up control over his/her own image. From this, he/she gets an unexpected subjective and artistic experience.
For his show at the Centre d’édition contemporaine, Bardin met with 16 people from Geneva, one at a time within the empty exhibition space. Each meeting was an exhibition of the person which started with the statement: “I can make of you whatever I want with my view, as you can make of me whatever you want”. The duration of the exhibition was left up to the two protagonists.
The photographs taken on this occasion by the artist will be presented in a site-specific display at the Centre d’édition contemporaine and made into an edition You belong to me I belong to you, 64 photographs, color, 22.3 x 30 cm, assembled between two acrylic plates; transparent on the front and opal on the back, edition of the Centre d’édition contemporaine and Blancpain Art Contemporain, Geneva, 2008.