Studio : Atelier de la Ville 1 place de Lorette Fr-13002 Marseille
After studying Literature, Gilles Pourtier joined a glasswork course at the European Centre for Research and Training in Glasswork (CERFAV) in Nancy. He then taught for four years in London at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, University College, and at the Westminster Adult Education Service. In 2006, he joined the National Superior School of Photography (ENSP) in Arles, where he graduated in 2009 and took part in group show “Une Attention Particulière” during the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie. During his three years in Arles, he developed a body of personal work that combines photography, multimedia and video. His photographic work has since been presented on many occasions, both in France and abroad. He currently lives and works in Marseille.
Born in 1980 in Romans-sur-Isère Lives and works in Marseille www.gillespourtier.com
In 2006, after several years spent working glass for artists, Gilles Pourtier decided to become an artist himself. He opted for photography as his main avenue of expression, but his use of the medium bears no relation to the Pictorialist trend or the indexical practice of Conceptualism. His agenda is closer to that of the photographic investigation: consider the quasi-ethnographic vein of his series Les Voleurs (Thieves, 2010) and more recently La ligne d’ombre (The Shadow Line, 2013), created on the islands of Batz and Ouessant in a collaboration with Anne-Claire Broc’h.
His modus operandi involves a kind of vernacular inventory of the peculiarities underlying the ordinariness of everyday spaces, acts and gestures. As in the wonky Constructivism that marries a wall shelf to a power socket and an electric radiator to a fireplace – two photos from the Le Château sequence of 2009 – Pourtier’s series and books reveal a sensibility that does away with indexical objectivity and poignancy so as to capture the everyday without actually appropriating it. His pictures are free of all residual trace of visual imperialism; on the contrary, his approach consists in laying bare the indeterminacy hidden behind appearances. In giving up the manual activity of glassmaking Pourtier distanced himself from the gesture of the artist/demiurge. Through photography he gives free rein to fragile documenting by a watcher whose means of agency are curiosity and framing.