Feb.16th - Mar.17th, 2012

God’s Left Eye

To fly is to free oneself, release from heaviness, step back a while before reaching the sky and share gods’ views. Whether we believe the universe stems from a miracle or from matter whims of fate, the earth and its “civilization” remain nevertheless strange and fascinating when, gaining altitude, we contemplate them. Up to now this earth remains the universal territory men have appropriated. They proliferate on it, inflict marks on it-scars visible from space- cover it with their tracks, sometimes sublime, often coarse. Then nature either violently gets over it: earthquakes, volcanic activity, tidal waves, floods or takes its time like vegetation or dust which eventually end in covering everything. With time nature simply reorganizes or obliterates human constructions.

Michel Mazzoni stands as an enlightened observer of this ceaseless game men and their environ­ment indulge in. Like an archaeologist of the contemporary landscape, he watches for the traces, tracks, scratches and marks of earth colonization by men and the disappearance of them. He travels, sometimes at the other end of the world, sometimes at the foot of his apartment building to grasp its essence, patiently and subtly. The artistic vision of our world he offers us underlines the ephemeralside of things. Here, more than anywhere else, everything may disappear… he insistently writes down on his exhibitions walls. By organizing one of them I discovered this series of “aerial works” he later entitled God’s left eye.

God’s left eye is a graphic and poetic journey in altitude, a cartographic exploration of “invisible” worlds. It’s also and above all a geopolitical, sociological, historical and geological study. For some time maps have been integral parts of his works and beyond their role of documents have them­selves become works. Four main ways have been used for choosing these pictures: roads crossing deserts, airports terminals, towns and military sites. They have in common to be forms of no place as Marc Augé described them, interchangeable spaces where the human being remains anonymous. Men neither live nor appropriate these spaces. With them they rather have a relation of temporary consumption.

God’s left eye reveals Michel Mazzoni’s passion for literature and cinema. For texts often punctuating his photographic works, in the first place. Again, it is the case with this book which carries on with writers’ and philosophers’ quotations he links together with subjects he treats of, in order to give his pictures a new echo. Then cinema. In the works he made on the field, the picture fading was already noticeable, a sort of dematerialization by deliberate overexposure. The will to reach a “degree zero” picture, a minimal abstraction form. The light that dissolves and shades off shapes, which brings him closer to the writing of a painter. Here the content meets the form or vice versa, the picture itself is about to disappear.

This process is found again in the series God’s left eye to which he adds the process of under-exposu­re. Most of the time, this picture treatment by an overexposure or “over saturation” process is linked to the human density on the treated “territory” fragment. So, deserts tend towards white when towns do towards black. Colours symbolism. Is it an oracle? Mazzoni doesn’t think he is God, the artist only embraces a god’s point of view, a subjectivelook, therefore “awkward”, a man’s look.

Frederic Collier, 2011