E-Book in the WorkOf Collection
Tribew Publishers, Paris
"A world of images and sketches"
Text by Francis Jolly, March 2016

Esther Hovers offers us an artistic seismogram of cityscapes...
We move around the cold urban scenery, convinced that our presence will not leave any visible trace, an invisibility that the surveillance cameras and other « image traps » have long challenged or even wiped out.
The countless urban choreographies that we all unconsciously compose on a daily basis have for years been recorded, analyzed and interpreted. Images with no proclaimed authors or intentions.
The “silence on the set, rolling… and action” is no longer relevant. There is no getting ready, composing. Perhaps we, unaware actors, would actually like to know what roles we are supposed to play!
For many years, artists have gotten hold of those “machines”; from the ancient “photo booth” where we still held some freedom of action to surveillance cameras and other webcams scattered around the world. Creators have “collected” the images of these “image traps”, transformed them and distorted them with just enough poetry, reflection and humor sometimes. They have appropriated them and they now sign them and claim them as their own, thus allowing us to “wake up” and realize their existence but also to “see” and interpret them, to take hold of them, an exhilarating revenge on those who wanted us to forget them.
Esther Hovers, a young artist judiciously selected by the festIval CIRCULATION(S) is one of those “contemporary scouts” who help us understand the spaces in which we live. She gives us back a little of this freedom which the “mechanical eyes” takes away from us everyday. The “False Positives” series which is currently exhibited at the CENTQUATRE tells us about suspicious moves, high-risk behaviors, anomalies detected and filmed in the business district of Brussels.
Esther allows us to see these “anomalies” in “stills” that she dissects.
These images, with these characters (could they be us?), laid out in this architecture lose their humanity and therefore become suspicious. They evolve on a stage, in the heart of a theatre in which the artist invites us to observe and they create a salutary gap between reality and photographic fiction, giving us total freedom of interpretation. We are “all suspect” in the eyes of those who, snuggly hidden behind their desks, try to “read” these images through the law-and-order ideology.
Esther’s other series, including “Theatrical Interventions” also offer us a sharp perspective on contemporary architecture and the displacements and postures that it imposes on the inhabitants. Her images raise the issue of the existence of a “place” and dramatize those urban wanderings. A discreet director, she reveals those invisible “scenes” that we leave behind us, sketches of fleeting memories.
Esther writes that a mix of love and fear accompany her rambles through the city and that her images, both poetic and icy, are rich with both feelings.

Françis Jolly
Directeur of the WorkOf collection
Éditions Tribew, Paris

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© 2019 Esther Hovers