Valérie Belin L’incertaine beauté du monde

MUba Tourcoing, France 17 March - 27 August 2023 
After highlighting Eugène Leroy's painting, in 2022, another artistic discipline will be presented at the MUba Eugène Leroy in 2023 through the photographic work of Valérie Belin. A pervasive presence in today's society, the image, both of oneself and of others, can be questioned via photography. As an "image factory" whose products blur the boundaries between reality and fiction, it works insidiously on our perceptions of the world.
Considered as one of the most talented photographers of her generation, Valérie Belin has conceived a large-scale exhibition at the MUba that tracks her entire career in a hundred photographs. The show is the first to constitute such a comprehensive selection of her work, from the 1990s to the present.
In this dense and dazzling display, the different series exhibited testify to the stylistic renewal of the work as well as to its fundamental continuity. Valérie Belin is engaged in a meticulous quest for an aesthetic that is as immediate as it is disturbing. Are the photographed subjects animated or inanimate, natural or artificial, real or imagined?
Without following a strictly chronological course, the exhibition demonstrates the developments and evolution of the work. From analog to digital, black and white to color, objects to humans, from the organic to the virtual, beings and things are treated as appearances where surface and interiority are isomorphic. Through the different series, the exhibition evidences the artist's prodigious imaginary. Valérie Belin questions the sometimes-complex relationship we have with our bodies and their representations. Her latest series entitled Heroes (2022) thus takes up two oft- represented figures, the clown and the mime, who seek to entertain whilst revealing a truth.
Firmly anchored in a reality that shapes us, Valérie Belin's art introduces a disturbance. She plays with the multiple expressive possibilities of photography - black and white, superimposition, chromatic modification, framing, etc. - to distance conventional perceptions of the subject. In so doing, she reactivates our imagination.