Jean-Christophe Yacono (yako) is a French and Canadian multimedia visual artist. Photographer, author of interactive and digital works for screens and public spaces, his practice is concretized by the photographic or animated image. He is interested in movement that generates interaction and in trans-disciplinary co-creation.
yako questions place, the fleeting and present moment, and the displacement of the gestural trace that materializes through the digital process.
Trained in graphic design and photography at the École Supérieure des Arts Modernes de Paris, as well as in digital and interactive arts, yako has developed a marked interest in the new practices and writings of web art, multimedia and contemporary dance.
His work has been presented at the Biennale d’Art Numérique (BIAN), the Festival International du Film sur l’Art (FIFA), the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (FNC), Cirque du Soleil, PdA’s ArTV studio, the Centre Pompidou (CNAC), and the gallery Centrale Powerhouse, among others.
It was during his collaboration with Michael Snow, when he discovered Plus Tard (1977), a work that features 25 photos of works “seen in passing”, that he understood the contribution of the place and the visitor who wanders around, in the original work.
It is by discovering the typographic poem Un Coup de Dès (1897) by Stéphane Mallarmé that yako really understands his fascination for the device (context, place, media), the protocol (interaction, presence, user) and the random (chaos, unpredictable, present). He mainly retains two statements, “Nothing will have taken place but the place” and “A Thimbleful (never) will abolish chance” in which the entity place/event takes place before returning to its initial state of place.
It is with dance, and more precisely in co-creation with Frédérick Gravel and Carol Prieur, that yako questions the reality of living art that he tries to capture, without freezing it, in series of “choreographic portraits” and research/co-creation that mix choreography and photography “in movement”. It is a question of placing the sensor (the point of view) in the center of the scenic device with the dancer, both participating in the choreographic writing.
In his latest series, yako explores photographic narration. Inspired by the work of Duane Michals (staging, captions), of the Topo Agency (photo roman) or of Chris Marker (photo film), he finds in the assembly of images said to be fixed or in the interstice created, what Sergei Eisenstein described as an added meaning that the assembly of two distinct sequences gives rise to: one of woman, one of man. And in the edit, between the two, the feeling of love.
yako has developed a practice through projects such as DIGITALSNOW (2002), a DVD-Book produced in collaboration with Michael Snow and published by the Daniel Langlois Foundation and the Centre Pompidou, WONDERLAND (2008), a performance of immersive theater and live audiovisual creation, the interactive installation MUSICBOX 2 (2009) presented during the BIAN or the realization of short and medium formats such as NOIRCEUR (2020), CAROL (2021) with the dancer Carol Prieur or the series GRAVEL (RE)WORKS (2022) and FEAR IN MOTION (2019) in co-creation with the choreographer Fred Gravel.
The images of yako are blurred. They always have been. He has always been attracted to images in which one perceives time, a scenery that scrolls, the feverishness of a body that moves or a hand that apprehends. As if what attracts him is what he cannot completely grasp. To perceive the time which passes rather than to look at the stop on an image, constrained, posed, unrealistic. Like color, sharpness seems trivial and devoid of added meaning.
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