The title of the exhibition – L’éternité et un jour – meaning "The eternity and one day" is from the movie of Theo Angelopoulos, awarded in Cannes in 1998. By associating two relations with time, the title of the exhibition expresses the complexe relationship we have with the Vanity figure : permanency and finiteness.
This determination to capture and to make visible the work of time is orienting the work of the photographer and had to lead him one day to measure himself explicitly with the Vanities. Whether the rituals are Christian or animistic, we find the skull, reality as well as motive of the universal memento mori (remember that you will die).
On the occasion of an artist’s residency at the monastery of Saorge (residence managed by the Center of National Monuments) during the summer 2017, Jean-Christophe Ballot developed a body of work on the theme of the Vanities.
The artist took with him two resin skulls designed for medical students. He delicately burnished the white surface of the first and painted the second in gold.
For this work, the photographer took the shots with a digital camera. To suit the whims and fantasies of the subjects, he developed his pictures in black & white or in color, printing in formats ranging from 40x60cm to 100x150cm and on supports as varied as the prints black and white, on baryta paper, lambda impressions or pigmentary. He attached great importance choosing the paper, its qualities of restitution and the subject of the image.
Beyond the operating methode, each image offers a poetic, philosophical or spiritual reflection. Through his work, Jean Christophe Ballot invites spectators to meditation.