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Sébastien Goy (France, 1975) earned in 2011 his BFA from the DOGTime/Fine Arts department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.

At the root of my artistic research lays the question of how the image can still be given a relevancy today. This question brought me to select specific physical conditions of existence for the pictures I produce. In doing so, I attempt to give these images a presence, a phenomenological quality, which partakes of their experience.

Further, I engage physically with the image making process, to unveil it. In this category of works, picture and self-image are usually equated, putting both at stake. The performative component of these works involves the artist and the audience on an emotional plane which disrupts the analytical apprehensions of this process. The identification taking place between performer and audience also intertwines image making process and social interaction.

Sébastien faces the arbitrariness of our visual culture with professional phlegm and a bit of anxiety. Some images deserve to be treated differently, he feels, because they retain a delicate significance, beyond his own emotional and aesthetic take. From the photographs and videos he gathers, some are simply poached and some made by him — these are usually contemplative registrations or straight snapshots. He tries to give their constitutive absence a specific presence, to endanger their immateriality with a physicality. So that, for instance, these images resist their assimilation into anonymous content.

Physicality is also favored to come to terms with Authority — this aspiration is another salient aspect of his production, felt necessary to situate his artistic practice. Sébastien investigates the forms Authority silently adopts, in its political, scientific and artistic instances and the means of legitimation they deploy. He questions the relationships between these instances, studies their collisions, their discursive cannibalism. These forms and means are then appropriated in performances, site-specific operations and drawings, that oscillate between naive resistances against the powers that be, ironic bravados, critical plays on legitimacy and sheer détournements.

At the end of the day, if he does not forget, he takes his professional anxiety off and folds it carefully.
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