EdenPhotographs and texts by Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques
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Eden is the result of a project initiated under the aegis of Immersion: A French American Photography Commission, created by Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and Aperture Foundation. As part of this inaugural commission, French-artist Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques purchased a small, historical schoolhouse in Eden, North Carolina, intending it as a site for the exploration of ideas of property, ownership, and image-making. One of his first activities was to scan the entire exterior of the house, resulting in the more than 1,000 scans reproduced in these pages. In other words, Eden contains the photographic shell of the building; the pages filled with gritty, distillate black-and-white images of the house’s foundations, walls, and crumbling facade. Woven intermittently throughout, are a handful of gatefolds that reveal elements from the project’s development, including materials that reference historical and legal documents pertaining to the house, and video and photographic documentation of Couzinet-Jacques’s experiments from the past year. Eden presents the first iteration of this long-term, ongoing project, in which Couzinet-Jacques will continue to invite other artists to create site-specific explorations of the house and to engage with the site as an incubator for creative activities—an intentional blurring of the lines between art and everyday life. In November 2016, an exhibition of this work will appear in the Aperture Gallery.
Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques (born in Sens, France, 1983) is a graduate of the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Marseille (2010) and the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles (2012). His work has been featured at LE BAL in Paris, Fotofestival Mannheim, and La Galerie Particulière in both Paris and Brussels. Couzinet-Jacques was awarded a fellowship at the Centre Photographique d’Ile-de-France, Paris, in 2015 and has been in residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris since 2014. In 2015, he received the first Immersion commission given by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and Aperture Foundation.