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Aurélie Pétrel

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Aurélie Pétrel
Vénissieux, Minguettes
🏳️ Nationality
💼 Occupation
AgentGalerie Ceysson & Bénétière
🌐 Websitehttp://www.dda-ra.org/fr/oeuvres/PETREL

Aurélie Pétrel is a French artist, born in Lyon in 1980. She lives and works between Romme, Paris and Geneva. She works in the medium of sculpture, photography and installation art. Aurélie Pétrel’s works question the image, its status, its (re) presentation and the mechanism of its production. The artist has a broad photographic practice, ranging from flat, one-dimensional prints to their 3D activation..[1] on the scale of a building or in autonomous installations. Her ongoing research aims to restore the shot to the centre of a multi-sensory reflection by means of spatial devices[2].


Since 2012, she has taught in Geneva as an artist and professor in charge of the Photography Department at the Haute École d'art et de design (HEAD)[3]. Since 2018, she is in charge of programming at Laboratoire du Collège International de Photographie du Grand Paris (CIPGP)[4][5]. She continues to develop her artistic practice and has regular solo exhibitions in France, Germany, Switzerland, the US, Canada and Japan. She frequently collaborates with Vincent Roumagnac (the pair are known as Pétrel I Roumagnac), producing work that fuses theatre and photography[6] She is currently represented by several galleries: the Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière[7] (Paris, France) and the Galerie Valeria Cetraro (Paris, France) for her work as part of Pétrel I Roumagnac.


Tokyo bay, 2010, tirage film polyester encapsulé et Evasafe de Bridgestone, verre extra-clair, 270 × 180 cm

Spaces and geographies[edit]

Since 2001 the anchors of her photographic practice include the following six cities: Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, Leipzig, Montreal and New York[8]. Each city is considered the space of an architectural impulse that allows her to experiment with the potential of the evolving image, beginning with field investigations up until the resulting fragmentary views on display in the exhibition space[9]. A seventh anchor has been added since 2015: Romme in the Haute-Savoie region, the artist’s place of residence. A territorial rationale with these seven anchor points provides an angle for interpreting Pétrel’s practice by means of an appropriated geometric principle: the hypercube. This mathematical model, complete in its form and infinite in its possibilities allows the artist’s practice to be diffracted by rendering it in space. Today, after this first cycle of fifteen years, Pétrel enters a new temporality. After considering space as the very foundation of her work, she now turns to figures[10]. She confronts her photographic practice with architecture and the tutelary figure of ‘the architect’, with notably a reflection around American architect Peter Eisenman[10][11]


Pétrel's research is anchored in the long term and works to restore the slow process of the creation of images[12]. Three key notions enable us to approach her methodology, the notions of ‘latent shooting’[13], ‘photographic partition’[14] and ‘situated image’[15]. The latent image is a technical term used in photography to refer to the shot before it is developed and revealed by means of chemicals. The term has been reinjected into the artist's practice as ‘latent shooting’[13], used to refer to autonomous prints, a source of potential activation. After an initial period in the field during which she collects compositions with which she works over a long period, Pétrel then switches her photographic practice into a workshop practice. A selection of images from contact sheets and story boards constitute the photographic series, materialized on Baryte paper in a standard 41.5 x 52-cm format. These images are then placed in a ‘set-aside unit’[16]—a steel filing cabinet consisting of boxes, like a random access memory. This RAM grows larger as the field surveys evolve. The latent shots will later appear in a visual work after a resting period of several months. The Baryte print is the first degree of activation, which allows the negatives or digital files to exist before they are reworked in 3D format in the studio. The notion of photographic partition can be understood in the double meaning of the word ‘partition’[13]. The first meaning refers to a musical composition, the second to a division, distribution and arrangement[17]. Transposed to photography, the ‘shots’ that represent the work’s embryonic phase are initially latent images that will be played or activated at a later date, in an exhibition that gives rise to an installation.

The notion of the situated image refers to shots that interact with the environment that hosts them in each of their installations. The term ‘situated image’ has run through the aesthetic reflection of the second half of the 20th century. In Modernist thought, an artwork ‘came into existence’ without necessarily being tied to a ‘place’. It wasn’t until the end of the 20th century and the Spaces exhibition at MoMA in New York that the idea of the relocalization of the work of art emerged[13].


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2009 Ricochets, ENS-Science et ENS-LSH, en résonance avec la biennale d'art contemporain, Lyon (Fr)
  • 2009 Répétition, Super Window Project / Muzz Program Space, Kyoto (Jp)
  • 2011 Ricochets, Université ECNU, Shanghai (Ch)
  • 2013 Image, Gowen Contemporary, Genève (Ch)
  • 2014 Partitions, Centre d'art contemporain Chanot, Clamart (Fr)
  • 2015 Table simulation#00, Fonds régional d'art contemporain du Centre-Val de Loire, Cur. Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou et Aurélien Vernant, Orléans (Fr)
  • 2017 Inactinique, Gowen Contemporary, Paris Photo, secteur PRISMES, Grand Palais (Fr)
  • 2017 135, 125iso, 24x36, M6, 35. supports et formats variables, proposition in situ d'Aurélie Pétrel, Centre Photographique d'Île-de-France, Pontault-Combault, (Fr)
  • 2018 D'Astérion, Galerie Valeria Cetraro chez Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, en collaboration avec le metteur en scène Vincent Roumagnac, Paris (Fr)
  • 2018 AxIonométrie 2 inactinique, FIAC Projects, Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière, Petit Palais, Paris (Fr)
  • 2018 Track 3, Gallery 44, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Invitation Leila Timmins, Cur. Heather Rigg, Toronto (Can)
  • 2018 Tracks, Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière, Cur. Alexandre Quoi, New York (Usa)

Group exhibitions[edit]

  • 2011 Reboot #5 , nous voulons des maquettes, invitation Elie During, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (Fr)
  • 2015 Relief, création et collaboration, Cur. Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou et Aurélien Vernant, Fonds régional d'art contemporain du Centre-Val de Loire (Fr)2015 Nouveaux territoires de l'image, Fonds régional d'art contemporain Occitanie Montpellier (Fr)
  • 2016 Faire Surface, œuvres de la promotion 2016 de l'ENSP d'Arles, artiste invitée, agnès b., Paris (Fr)
  • 2017 House of Dust, Fonderie Darling, Cur. Maud Jacquin et Sébastien Pluot, Montréal (Can)
  • 2017 Beirut Art Fair, Byblos Bank Awards et Gowen Gallery, Beyrouth (Lb)
  • 2017 Summer Night Wishes, Elizabeth Street Garden, Cur.Marie-Salomé Peyronnel, en collaboration avec le metteur en scène Vincent Roumagnac, New York (USA)
  • 2017 Leaving the Still Image, Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Cur. Christin Müller, en collaboration avec le metteur en scène Vincent Roumagnac, Ludwigshafen (De)
  • 2018 Art Brussels, Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière, Bruxelles (Be)


  • 2006 Prix Pézieux, Lyon
  • 2004 Prix Charles Dufraine, Lyon


  • 2018 Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain de Normandie-Caen, France
  • 2015 Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris
  • 2013 Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Occitanie Montpellier, France
  • 2009 1% Culture, Lycée de Saint-Chamond (42), Région Rhône-Alpes, France


  1. "La photographie, un univers en perpétuelle expansion". Libération.fr (in français). 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  2. "Aurélie Pétrel - l'atelier A". ARTE (in français). Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  3. Genève, HEAD - Haute école d'art et de design. "Aurélie Pétrel | HEAD". www.hesge.ch (in français). Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  4. "Collège International de Photographie du Grand Paris | CIPGP". CIPGP (in français). Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  5. "Le Collège international de la photographie du Grand Paris prend forme - 4 janvier 2019 - Le Journal des Arts - n° 514". Le Journal Des Arts (in français). Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  6. "artpress | D'Astérion – Pétrel I Roumagnac" (in français). Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  7. "Aurélie Pétrel - FR - Ceysson & Bénétière". www.ceyssonbenetiere.com. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  8. "La cité d'images - Aurélie Pétrel" (PDF). www.lebleuduciel.net.
  9. "Musée de l'Elysée: Aurélie Pétrel – Hexagone 18". www.elysee.ch. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Exposition Aurélie Pétrel Paris 09 Septembre - 14 Octobre 2017 - Ceysson & Bénétière". www.ceyssonbenetiere.com. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  11. "L'oeil" (PDF).
  12. "Documents d'artistes Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes : Documentation et édition en art contemporain » Aurélie PÉTREL » Index des œuvres". www.dda-ra.org. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 l'image, Maison du geste et de (2016-04-19), Séminaire photographique - Aurélie Pétrel - 24.03.2016, retrieved 2019-01-25
  14. "Documents d'artistes Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes : Documentation et édition en art contemporain » Aurélie PÉTREL » Textes". www.dda-ra.org. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  15. "Les figures photographiques d'Aurélie Pétrel". France Culture (in français). Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  16. "FranceFineArt". www.francefineart.com. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  17. d'Ile-de-France, Centre Photographique. "135, 125iso, 23x36, M6, 35 Supports et formats variables aurélie pétrel au cpif - Programme". Centre Photographique d'Ile-de-France. Retrieved 2019-01-25.

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