Antonin Pons Braley
Drawing on long term field studies in Boreal and Austral territories, artist and researcher Antonin Pons Braley (1988, France) dedicates himself to an “Archive of disappearance” — he lives and works between Berlin, Montreal and Paris.
With an understanding of the North as an interplay of imaginary constructs and physical realities, Pons Braley’s Archive aims to constitute an aesthetic and academic repertoire of inner and outer figures. At the core of this live-long dedication lies his research on the milieu as matrix, exploring the conversion of man to what surrounds him. Revisiting the very ideas of disappearance and archiving, both perfect and impossible notions, Pons Braley’s body of work takes notably shape in totem-like helioengraved sculptures and frescos, literary as well as academic essays. The resulting resource, a to the same time artistic and scientific object, contributes in mapping the northern mental landscape, documenting its porosity to the surrounding habitat.
Antonin Pons Braley is co-founder of Berlin-based art and research lab Tumuult where he is dedicated to “An Archive of Norths” together with Lena Gudd by studying the relationship between man and his milieu in the Subarctic and Arctic regions. Driven by a holistic approach, the duo composes an aesthetic and academic body of work, based on long-term field studies. Engaging with the North’s memory by archiving an idea of the milieu as well as the milieu itself, their research is among others annually published in La Revue. Tumuult is a member of the Gesellschaft für Kanadastudien (Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking Countries).
Appointed Élève-Maître d’Art by the French Ministry of Culture, Pons Braley has been taught the technic of heliogravure from Maître d’Art Fanny Boucher, Atelier Hélio’g, Paris. Developing a unique way to helioengrave three-dimensional copper forms, his artisan work has notably been awarded by the Banque Populaire Fondation Jury Artisanat d’Art repeatedly in 2014-2015 and 2016-2017, and benefits from the support of the French Institut National des Métiers d’Art (National Institute of Arts and Crafts). Antonin Pons Braley is moreover PhD Candidate in Studies and Practices of Arts, University of Quebec in Montréal, Canada, and associate researcher at Imaginaire Nord, Laboratoire international d’étude multidisciplinaire comparée des representations du Nord (Imaginary North, the International Laboratory of Compared Multidisciplinary Studies of the representations of North).
“Antonin Pons Braley is telling this story that is also his own. Every year he reaches these essential lands, compass of the world, alongside mushers and protective dogs. He invites us on an enigmatic journey, a pendular movement that nourishes his work, opens his soul and makes him experience elementary forces as well as the fragility of the intimate. To paraphrase Nietzsche, the polar and arctic life is a point of view taken on our temperate and industrial existence. His ‘Archive of Disappearance’ enriches our presence in the world with this vertical way to see, directed downwards to the factory of the living and upwards to the summoned light. […] Pons Braley is the heir of the last great travelers. The feeling of fullness inspired by the beauty of the world, and the melancholia, sparked by its possible etiolation, chanted their lives. He makes this duality resonate and seizes it in an interior and vital gesture” writes Beth (2015).
On Pons Braley
Beth, C. (2015). Éloge de la disparition, Antonin Pons Braley. Paris: Dodécales Éditions.
Gudd, L. & Pons Braley, A. (2017). On the Idea of North. Tumuult La Revue. Berlin: Tumuult. — Upcoming
Pons Braley, A. (2011). Et elle disparaît. Paris: Antonin Pons Braley.
As publisher, collection director
Bragg, C. (2016). I wish to see where the winds meet. Berlin: Tumuult.
Coutelier, D. & Houlette, M. (2016). Nouveau Monde – Henri Salesse. Berlin: Tumuult.
Gudd, L., with Gaudy, H., Houlette, M. & Jacquot, S. (2015). Traces – Lena Gudd. Berlin: Tumuult.
Barton, B., Gudd, L. & Pons Braley, A. (2015). I am watching you – Olya Bazilevich. Berlin: Tumuult.
Houlette, M. & Rivallin, M., foreword Pons Braley, A. (2014). Bovis 6×6. Berlin: Tumuult.
Pons Braley in Wonderlab, Tokyo National Museum, 2017 — Upcoming
Pons Braley in L’Empreinte du Geste, Paris Museum of Decorative Arts, 2016
Lanscape in Mind, Gudd & Pons Braley at Arles Voies Off photofestival, 2016
Pons Braley in Fragiles, Meudon Art and Culture Center, 2015
Nacera Belaza, Pons Braley at National Choreographic Center, Orléans, 2014
Pons Braley in Pommard et les Grands Ateliers de France, Château Pommard, 2014
Licht, Pons Braley at Photofolies festival, Rodez, 2015
Héliovolume, Pons Braley at La Menuiserie, Rodez, 2015
Pons Braley in Helio 2014, A[E]ncrages, Imagineo Gallery, Paris, 2014
Today Maya Society, Tumuult Space, Berlin, 2016
— with Ajpatan, Fanny Boucher, Manuel Xiloj & Santiago Albert
Mayan Ritual Masks, coll. Guatemala Embassy Berlin
Los Todos Santeros, Hans Namuth
Fiestas y tradiciones, Santiago Albert
Recent talks, conferences
Transmission and Innovation, Boucher, Levoyet & Pons Braley at Tokyo University of Arts, 2017 — Upcoming
Nouvelles formes en photographie, Pons Braley at La Chambre, Strasbourg, 2017
Photography delimited, Gudd & Pons Braley at European Month of Photography, Berlin, 2016
Créer pour transmettre, Boucher & Pons Braley at Paris Museum of Decorative Arts, 2015
Matrix in art history, Pons Braley at Luxembourg National Museum of History and Art, 2015
Écrire avec la lumière, Pons Braley at Rodez Townhall, 2015
Innovation et métiers d’art, Pons Braley at Paris Grand Palais, 2015
Heliovolumes, Pons Braley at La Menuiserie, Rodez, 2015
Kiosk, Éric Chenal, International Association of Art Critics, Luxembourg, 2016
I wish, Christian Bragg, Tumuult Space, Berlin, 2016
La trace invisible des gens, Lena Gudd, Maison de la Photographie Robert Doisneau, Gentilly, 2015-16
Révélations, Éric Chenal, Luxembourg National Museum of History and Art, 2015
Watching You, Olya Bazilevich, Tumuult Space, Berlin, 2015
Bovis 6×6, Marcel Bovis, Maison de la Photographie Robert Doisneau, Gentilly, 2015
England 1970-1980, Homer Sykes, Maison de la Photographie Robert Doisneau, Gentilly, 2014-15
Pons, E. & Pons Braley, A. (2010). Porto : Poètes et bâtisseurs. Paris: Éditions Autrement.
No Man’s land, Nomades’ land, Pons Braley with Sébastien Bournac, Tabula Rasa Cie., 2009-10
Boucher, Levoyet & Pons Braley interviewed by Pen Japan — Upcoming
Pons Braley on Radio Canada introducing to Tumuult’s research in Fermont
Gudd & Pons Braley interviewed by Le Trait d’Union du Nord
Pons Braley interviewed by Quentin Tourbez for Twelve Magazine
Fanny Boucher talking about her transmission to Pons Braley on Tendance XXI by TV5 Monde
Pons Braley’s & Fanny Boucher’s portrait by Jean Rafferty for The International NewYork Times
Pons Braley interviewed by Culture.fr, French Ministry of Culture’s Online Journal
Creative Chaos, Three Questions to Tumuult by Art Press
Pons Braley & Fanny Boucher on Tf1 20H Journal
“Partition pour cuivres à quatre mains”, Pons Braley’s & Fanny Boucher’s portrait by Virginie Huet for Connaissance des Arts
Pons Braley & Fanny Boucher, with Pascal Leclerq, on Telematin by France2
“Pons Braley & Fanny Boucher graveurs de futur” by the French Institut National des Métiers d’Art
A portrait of Pons Braley by the Banque Populaire Fondation
Pons Braley & Fanny Boucher on Bfm Business
“Le Monde pour les Ateliers” with Pons Braley, by Ateliers d’Art de France