Introduction Waga sugata - Sylvie Tubiana - 2007

Since 1994, I have used the image of my own body projected and “staged” in space.
The question of the model does not apply to these works; my images are in no way self portraits. This research, which is related to anamorphosis, was originally conceived as the deformation of a rectangle on one or several screen-surfaces. “For all that the generic idea of her work is based on and plays on the deformation of a rectangular form in space – the window of light of the projected slide image – Sylvie Tubiana’s art proceeds from a reflection on the concept of geometry in space (…)”
The body, considered first and foremost as an object or pretext, in the ends acquires in her work an unexpected importance.
These compositions proceed from the implementation of practices which are pictorial as much as they are photographic. References to the history of art appear regularly: from Cranach’s Eve to Francis Bacon, from Caravaggio to Georges de la Tour.
In 2000, this work took a shift in direction which brought us back to the original preoccupation: the deformation of the rectangle in space. Instead of being photographed against a black background and only being a sign during the projection – a dancing sign – the body emerging from the dark, is photographed against a white background. During the projection, this whiteness gives the illusion of a box, of a “folding of light”, of a luminous prison in which the presence of the body becomes more narrative, theatrical, and thanks to this whiteness, architecture is revealed.
It was this series, which emphasises shadow and light as well as folding (origami), which gave rise to a desire to reveal the very strong bond between my work and Japanese culture. A desire to create a specific work in and for this same country. Not by using the Japanese body, because in the end it is important to me that this body be anonymous and non identifiable, but by relating my work to traditional Japanese architecture and to the way in which bodies experience this architecture.
In traditional Japanese architecture, my attention was drawn to several elements: the variety of the materials, the presence of the ground in everyday gestures and attitudes, the use of sliding panels and their openness towards nature. Inner space extends naturally towards the exterior. Thus I created a first series entitled Mémoire secrete (Secret Memory).

One of the key words of Japanese civilisation is that of “space”. 
The work of "inhabiting space", in this case inhabiting the space of the Japanese, inspired by their rites and their body language, touched their sensibility and their emotion. All the more so as I “set to work without preconceived ideas” in an intuitive approach to spaces and cultures. I make myself “available, ready for all possible excursions that the work situations might offer me. It is about point of view and scale, of the loss of bearings and balance, of monumentality”* and also of wandering and imprisonment. Apart from Japanese architecture, the relationship which the Japanese have with their baths and their thermal springs (onsen) also fed into my work. A series of photographs was specifically carried out in this so particular atmosphere of relaxation, heat and steam; I quite naturally called it Onsen.

I seek to recall with force that light is the very essence of photography. With an image constantly balanced between appearance and disappearance, between confinement, imprisonment and freedom: “as if the idea were to test this body within a sealed, unusual space.”*
Light, perspective, photography as so many tools of the plastic artist to constitute images and spaces.

Upon returning to France, I felt the need for this work to be a source of exchange with other artists and for it to give them a desire to write. This book is a testimony to the relationship and complicity established with Daniel Keene and Nobuo F.Hirasawa .