It’s impossible to believe that we can know everything about someone we've just met. In order to understand who that person is, we need to uncover their true emotions by diving into their soul and discovering all that they are. In other words, we need to break the shell to get to the point where they present themselves as they truly are.
Before I’m misinterpreted, when I speak about shattering a person I’m not talking about it in a negative way. Sometimes they’re the ones who allow that rupture. It all depends on the way each chooses to shatter in order to be renewed. The many versions of the self demonstrate why it needs to be broken down before another can begin to understand it. An outsider might never be able to discover the other completely, but they can undress their most sensitive spots.
Graphic designer Matthieu Bourdel creates collages where he literally tears a person into different parts, assigning a special and distinct meaning to each. In order to develop the concept, he uses digital collages. Each selected image is fragmented, allowing the artist to play with shape and color in order to provide it with a new reading.
When the audience comes face to face with Bourdel’s deconstructions, they’re able to see themselves in any of their fragmented shapes. Through his self-proclaimed “Data-ist” esthetic, viewers can identify all that hurts or arouses them within these broken montages.
Data-ism refers to the importance technology has acquired as part of our everyday reality. The artist uses this concept to reorder digital elements that are part of our humanity, and then places them within his productions to show how technology is part of our daily life.
This fragmentation is precisely what is established in the dialogue between artist, work, and spectator. That conversation enriches the sensorial process we experience when we unveil the masks we all carry. We could even say that the unfolding of the individual is a process that naturally happens after it shatters. Perhaps that’s why a particular nostalgia and uncertainty invades us when we look at Bourdel’s work. From the look of his collages, the artist appears to know all about us and our secrets.
Translated by María Suárez