Ludivine Sibelle

N’ayez pas peur

Scans of screenshots transferred on paper, 2013-2017

Ludivine Sibelle is an explorer of the web, wandering digital landscapes in search for found images, a collector of the stories men tell themselves to make society, fascinated by forms of contemporary rituals.

Images are at the center of her practice. Never mere depiction, they are always translations, filtered through various techniques altering their appearances, echoing the transformative process of collective memory. Transfer, scan, drawing or screenshots become ways of appropriating these images to give them a new status, on the thin line between documentary and fiction. 

The series N’ayez pas peur takes us into the unknown. These blurry and pixilated images are screenshots taken from amateur videos of obscure ceremonies, found online on various websites during a research on contemporary rituals. Carefully gathered through a study on forms, colors and gestures, they are then printed and transferred on paper, before being scanned and turned again into digital images. These steps add new textures to the surface of the images, shadows and constellations left by dust through the process leave room for doubt and interpretation. Before us, strange figures stand, glimpses of silhouettes, a hooded man, a hand, an animal.

In the shadows lie the archetypes of man’s fear and attraction to mysteries, the dark side that we’re afraid to look in the eyes. Facing these images, we search endlessly for visual clues, trying to decipher the chaos showing through the dark ; what are we looking at?

Despite their wide diffusion online, these mysterious rituals keep their aura of secrecy. Each screenshot selected by Ludivine Sibelle carefully avoids revealing too much and acts as an enigma, a metaphor or mankind’s tendency to look for meaning and to conjure invisible forces through ceremonial gestures.

Ludivine Sibelle’s website.