Text by Dan Nisand, writer
Edited by Ada Sbriccoli, Photography Editor
Ruben Brulat’s approach has something romantic to it, romantic in the nineteenth century sense. His work ist that of a lonely, fanatic and mystic person, who’s thrown himself into a quest that confronts him to the limits and that opens the doors to a new apprehension of the world.
At one time, following Amiel, a whole generation had proclaimed “every landscape is a state of mind”, directed its interest to unending perspectives, which were damaged like life itself, tortured like the human feeling. Fascinating, is how this new series of photos, entitled Primates, could be described.
Nevertheless, when a so-called Friedrich represented the human greatness as an anonymous silhouette absorbed in the show of a sea of clouds, Brulat, on the other side, does the complete opposite, by immersing it in reality. For Brulat, it is not anymore a question of evoking the greatness of a character, but that of Creation itself, where the human being, as a species, searches for his place.
Among the hostile rocks, the snow and the ice, barely inclined to welcome life, there is a body without identity, totally naked and deprived. Will he succeed to merge in this set, in this infinity of accidents? Will he know how to be similar to the animal that reigns on its own territory? This desperate attempt to transform this being into a body, for it to be accepted or re-accepted by a matrix completely foreign to the human substance, is very moving. This is when he is nothing but a species, a man from thousands of years ago, forced to know himself and to adapt himself to the outside conditions which are nothing but threats.
Because it is impossible to disregard the conditions of how these pictures were taken, the risk-taking, the intense emotion, the spectacular and the exploration of the limits are tangible. We perceive that the artist answers to all his instincts, that he offers himself entirely and allows himself to be reached by things. If sometimes a pillow of snow seems more welcoming, softer, the spectator cannot repress the shiver that activates in him this defenseless subdued body and devoured by elements. He feels the urgency, the impossiblity to think, but also the speed and the unexpected sensual delight of the action.
Certainly, he doesn’t create the illusion that the fusion with the nature is possible without fight nor conditions. But this series recounts a collection, with its set of disappointed hopes and aborted attempts, and at the end of the road, a figace but an indisputable triumph, even if for a split of a second, to be able to create the symbiosis: when the human being, as if calmed, seems to become confused with a rocky mass of fallen rocks, to float serenely on the surface of a black groundwater beside a crust of ice, or to find refuge in the hollow of a carpet of sweet grass, in the dense and deep green.