T- CHEMIGRAMS CHI MIG RAM ME: Pierre Cordier Gottfried Jager [Deutscher Text: Seite 523] [Texte frangais: page 523] The work of the Belgian artist Pierre Cordier must be seen against the background of a developing art based on chemistry and chemical processes. In this domain the immanent laws of chemistry are exploited for the purpose of generating aesthetic patterns. Its pioneer was the German chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge (1794-1867), the discoverer of aniline, caffeine and atropine. In a book published in 18 5 5 Bildungs- trieb der Stoffe) he reproduced paper chromatograms, as used for the chemical analysis of the constituents of mixtures, on the strength of their purely aesthetic appeal. The typical features of such productions, today very much in the public eye, are their dependence on scientific and tech nical media and processes, the identity of the methods of the artist and the technician, and the consequent general availability of the materials employed. These criteria of chemigraphic art also apply to Cordier's work, albeit with certain minor limitations. The base material needed for making chemigrams is photographic paper or film. On its light-sensitive surface chemicals are allowed to react under the influence of light. This of course is also what happens in the normal photochemical processes of straight photography. Cordier, how ever, uses his materials in less orthodox ways: 'In photography, the light is localized, while the developer and fixer take effect over the whole photosensitive surface. In chemigraphy, the light has a passive effect on the whole surface and it is the developer and fixer that have a local ized action, either alternately or simultaneously.' 518 Pierre Cordier was born in Brussels in 1935. He studied political science, bmnsb; a photographer and discovered the first 'chemigram' in 1956. In 1958 he wor a time under Otto Steinert, founder of 'subjective photography', in Saarbrücker itsawlit i960 he has had regular exhibitions in Europe and abroad. In 1963 he made, til vl based on his chemigrams, which in 1967 were also presented at the Musjirii Modern Art in New York. They have likewise been used in architecture, onto covers, etc. Since 1965 Cordier has taught at the School of Architecture and su Arts in Brussels. Four of his chemigrams are reproduced here. Editor a Pierre Cordier wurde 1933 in Brüssel geboren. Er studierte Staatswissei wurde dann Photograph und entdeckte 1956 das erste «Chemigramm». 1958 ai er eine Zeitlang unter Prof. Otto Steinert an der Werkkunstschule in Saarbi Seit i960 finden regelmassig Ausstellungen seiner Arbeiten in Europa und it see statt. 1963 drehte Cordier einen Film, der auf seinen Chemigrammen b die spater, 1967, auch im Museum of Modern Art in New York ausgestellt v Ferner fanden sie in der Architektur, auf Schallplattenhüllen usw. Verwendur 1963 lehrt Cordier an der Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture et dt Visuels in Brüssel. Vier seiner Chemigramme sind hier wiedergegeben. Reda, 1 12 iter kei. bum £i sfltamn dtiaiK-.- Shaw Ana Pierre Cordier, né a Bruxelles en 1933, a étudié les sciences po avant de photographe. Sa découverte du premier «chimigramme» date de 1936. En ic le trouve un certain temps aux cótés du Professeur Otto Steinert, a Sarri Depuis i960, il expose régulièrement en Europe et outre-mer. En 1963, il a un film sur ses chimigrammes, qui ont été présentés au Musée d'art moderne York en 1967. Ses créations ont été utilisées en architecture, pour des po de disques, etc. Depuis 1963, Cordier enseigne a l'Ecole d'architecture et visuels de Bruxelles. Nous reproduisons ici quatre de ses chimigrammes. La R .ra The chemical reactions produce patterns obeying physico-ch( laws yet at the same time guided by the subjective choice of the This means that there is not only a close interrelation but also degree of identification between the methods of the artist and ch< manufacturing processes. The criterion of general availability is also satisfied in principle 1 media Cordier uses for his chemigrams. This is one of the attracti chemigraphic art, of which Runge said that a child working und direction would be able to produce the finest of 'capillograms'. G himself does not divulge all the details of his original techniques. FLikigatj to quote a passage from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wil have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thy r ,r delightful if one only hides it.' We must leave it to the observer to decide which of the two int points in this case results in the greater aesthetic pleasure. \I i:j( J It: jb a 3tu: rii\ .231 EE-cm rib lo iilih- in ni> tiqian SJM7II ir.gc iïzw at r: Among the most attractive of Cordier's productions are dou 14 it \to ad to: 31 those series of pictures in which he changes some of his creative ixjsst meters step by step. In this case, his chemigrams also share the obje of generative photography. This sets out to produce aesthetic pa by the application of exactly defined programmes without makin aferrf secret of the production process, which is accordingly made availa; r/r anyone who wishes to apply it. Gottfried

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