Adrien Missika’s work is a constant exploration of intermediate spaces, between fiction and reality. He draws from sources such as artificial settings (or decoration ?) and comic strips, fantasy films and postcards. Extensive traveller, passionate about architecture and archaeology, Adrien Missika combines the images of his trips to those he produces in his studio from models made out of poor materials. He also often works with basic lighting. Playing with the viewer’s expectations and assumptions, the artists questions our relation to the world and its representations.
For this edition the artist uses a specific technique and depicts an insular landscape at twilight photographed in a studio with a chamber camera on a analogue negative (4 x 5 inches) and then printed on paper by rotogravure.
In 1828 in Nicéphore Nièpce’s studio photography emerged as a photogravure process. The rotogravure has retained in all its developments the characteristic of an art print: copper, ink, paper. The plate is made photosensitive with bichromated gelatine; it receives the images through exposure to light and is then etched with ferric chloride (just like aquatints). The etched plate is covered in ink and then wiped by hand in order to retain all the features from the more intense to the more subtle.
This process invented by Nicéphore Nièpce was improved by Abel Niepce de Saint-Victor and W.H. Fox Talbot in the first half of the 19th century. Conceived by Karl Klietsch in 1878 this technique of multiple reproduction allows richer nuances than paper development. As Pietro Sarto argues, with rotogravure one can work in “three dimensions”: material, volume and type of ink. Because of all these possibilities, it became the favourite technique of Edward Steichen and the photographers associated with Camera Work.
L’Atelier de Saint-Prex explores since 1968 different forms of etching. The collective of artists – with at its center Pietro Sarto, Valentine Schopfer and Michel Duplain – has among other things produced rotogravures of Balthasar Burkhard, Paul Strand or Edward Steichen.