Sikkema Jenkins & Co. opens a solo exhibition of work by Martin d'Orgeval

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Sikkema Jenkins & Co. opens a solo exhibition of work by Martin d'Orgeval
Martin d’Orgeval’s practice realizes the ethereal, illusory threads of perception that link visions of the everyday to distinct moments of photographic witnessing.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is presenting a solo exhibition of work by Martin d’Orgeval, on view in the back galleries June 4 through July 22, 2022. Organized with Olivier RenaudClement, this exhibition is d’Orgeval’s first solo show in New York.

Martin d’Orgeval’s practice realizes the ethereal, illusory threads of perception that link visions of the everyday to distinct moments of photographic witnessing. His dreamlike, cerebral images inhabit an ambiguous realm between the intimate and the universal, favoring the enigma of questioning over definite resolution. The works in this exhibition present subjects ranging from the deeply personal to the collectively experienced; drawing on senses of touch, memory, and intuition, his photographs center viewers within the crystallized present of our own existence.

D'Orgeval’s newest daguerreotypes were conceived from the fingerprint impression of friend’s placed over the image of their already exposed hand. The indexical trace of each finger is doubled against the exposure of the person’s hand, a ghosted presence overlapping through a perpetual realization of light.

Malcolm Daniel, Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on d’Orgeval’s Témoin/Witness (Matilde), 2021: Like the relationship between a handprint on a cave wall and the hand itself, photography is often discussed as a direct imprint of reality rather than an interpretation of it. Martin d’Orgeval has taken this idea in one of its most common analogies—“photography is to the real world as a fingerprint is to a finger”—and made it visible in a simple but mind-twisting way. He chose the daguerreotype process as the ideal vehicle, for its evocation of the origins of photography, for its mirror-like reflectiveness, for its entrancing illusion of three dimensions, and for its delicate surface. Working under d’Orgeval’s instruction, master daguerreotypist Jerry Spagnoli photographed the hand and finger of d’Orgeval’s friend Matilde and had her touch the surface of the plate with her finger. The fingerprint locates the surface of the plate and heightens the illusion of the hand hovering just an inch behind.

In Witnesses (2019) and 354 (2011), d’Orgeval reflects on specific encounters in time and their reverberations as both intimate and universal. The vision of a dust-covered windshield on a car in 354 struck d’Orgeval as particularly melancholy, suggesting a state of fossilization and suspension against the passage of time and the bustling world that surrounds it. Witnesses presents a scene framed within the context of national catastrophe and communal devastation: the burning and collapse of the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral, in April 2019. As crowds filled the streets in awe and horror, d’Orgeval photographed a group watching from the banks along the river Seine. Within this moment of collective stasis, the act of witnessing maintains an urgency of mortality, evoking an implicit farewell in the memory of disintegration.

Martin d’Orgeval was born in 1973 in Paris, where he currently lives and works. Recent notable exhibitions include shows at Galerie Hussenot Paris, New Galerie, and Peter Freeman, Inc., New York. His work is included in the public collections of Fonds National d’Art Contemporain and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

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