The Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection is pursuing its programme of invitations to art historians and academics in connection with artists whose works are on display in our exhibitions. Art historian Soko Phay’s work questions “phantom images”, from the photograms of Liz Deschenes that reflect light and shadow to the sounds of the disappeared landscapes of Anri Sala that punctuate the exhibition A Second of Eternity.
Between disappearance and appearance, “phantom images” are rendered perceptible at a distance, or in the gap that lies between immediate visibility, and the vacillation of the voice and the gaze. How does the story of a phantom, whether a once living object or place, resonate with the present time? Today’s creation requires a decentring and a transversal reading of our world.
Soko Phay is a professor of contemporary art history and theory at the Université Paris 8 and the Nouveau collège d’Etudes politiques de l’Université Paris Lumières. She is currently the director of the “Art of Images and Contemporary Art” research laboratory. In addition to her work on the aesthetics of the mirror, including Les vertiges du miroir dans l’art contemporain (Les presses du réel, 2016), she also carries out research into art when confronted with extreme circumstances, particularly in terms of art’s relationship with memory and history. In 2022, alongside Patrick Nardin, she co-directed Le paysage après coup and with Pierre Bayard, Rwanda, l’atelier de la mémoire. De l’archive à la création published by Naima.