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Marc Lenot

After his studies at the École Polytechnique and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a career as an economist, Marc Lenot (1948) reinvented himself as an art critic in 2005. For the last twelve years, he has written an online reference blog on contemporary art, Lunettes Rouges, published by Le Monde (http://lunettesrouges.blog.lemonde.fr/).  In 2009, he obtained a Master’s Degree from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales with a thesis on the Czech photographer Miroslav Tichý. In 2016, he obtained a Ph. D. from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne with a doctoral thesis on contemporary experimental photography, under the direction of Michel Poivert. His book on the same subject, “Jouer contre les Appareils”, was published in June 2017 by Éditions Photosynthèses in Arles. He was the first “digital” member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) in France, and in March 2014, competing with nine other French art critics, his oral presentation of the work of the French-Ecuadorian artist Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza won him the AICA France Prize, awarded by an international jury.

Articles of Marc Lenot

Flusser et les photographes, les photographes et Flusser / Flusser and photographers, photographers and Flusser / Flusser e os fotógrafos, os fotógrafos e Flusser

The concept of experimental photography has rarely been defined, nor has it been the subject of much research in studies of contemporary photography. Vilém Flusser is one of the few writers who, in his book Towards a Philosophy of Photography, proposed a definition of experimental photography as “playing against the apparatus”, i.e. the practice of some photographers who do not abide by the rules of photography and perturb the standard operations of the apparatus by playing against the camera. Aside from this conceptual definition, Flusser himself gave few examples of this practice, principally Andreas Müller-Pohle and Joan Fontcuberta. While expanding this definition, this essay sheds light on contemporary photographers whose work can be qualified as experimental in this respect. Some deconstruct the camera, reinventing it or photographing without a lens (pinhole) or even without a camera (photograms). Some undo the image creation process, playing with time, with light, with the chemical development process or with image printing. And some redefine the author-photographer, erasing him or giving him a different role in the photographic process. Contemporary experimental photography is not a school, nor a movement, but simply a current, a moment between the decline of traditional documentary analog photography and the rise of digital photography.

Flusser e os fotógrafos (PDF 370.15 KB)

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