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Nicolas Moulin, Four Stills from Interlichtengespenstereinzuladendaranddenken, (2010), HD video projection, 13:40
Nicolas Moulin’s work represents a kind of potential ‘response’ to our contemporary world, in which sarcasm and romanticism, fascination and horror exist side by side, in a peculiar balance. Our era, abandoned by better futures, seems to have got lost at night in a forest haunted by all the invisible elements that constitute the sources of its anxiety. This dystopia can be seen in all of Nicolas’ work, in which the science fiction that he claims as the culture of his generation no longer evokes a fairy-tale like futurism, but ‘a timeless present made of retroactive memories that generate, through hope or fear, the notion of “tomorrow”’. The disoriented chronologies of his landscapes evoke a vision of the future in which the spectator is confronted with a déjà vu never before seen, a really existing reality made in the image of the implanted memories of the replicants in Blade Runner, and reminding us of JG Ballard’s statement: ‘The role of the artist is now not so much to produce fictions in a world that is saturated with them, but to invent realities’.
Certain of his works, which I would describe as ‘para-photographic’, explore the notion of ‘fake’. They carefully erase the processes by which they were made, distancing themselves from the idea of a photographic image that re-transcribes, advancing instead the idea that the image quite simply is. Moulin’s landscapes are futurist ‘vestiges’ or ‘false archives’ in black and white, devoted, according to the artist, to revealing a contemporary imaginary, in which – after ‘the future is now’, ‘too much future’ and ‘no future’ – the ‘No Present’ reigns.