Medea, Stéphan Crasneanscki, Libraryman, 2023, 24 x 29 cm, 256 pages, HB, ISBN: 9789188113689
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In his artistic research, Stéphan Crasneanscki (b. 1969, French) combines sound, image, and text. Medea is no exception to this rule: the project developed during a crossing of the Black Sea, where, off the coasts of Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Crimea, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria, he worked with his Soundwalk Collective, to archive the sonic material that would become the record, Medea.

Crasneanscki’s photographs, taken over the course of ten years at nightfall, attend to the somber aspects of the myth of Medea. Endlessly refracted, the figure of the vengeful mother, the priestess Hecate, Circe’s niece, is reconstructed in fragments, those of a logbook that tracks the myth across a region fractured by wars and the powers that be. Medea returns, as if exhumed from a black box, embodied in barely perceptible figures, places, and silhouettes. Transfixed in a dark, veiled light, images of ghosts reveal themselves as clues—mirror images of submerged worlds.

Inverted light unsettles our perception of the temporality of form and matter—a disruption that is necessary to invoke the modern tragedy currently playing itself out in the basin of the Black Sea, where history and Medea’s torments seem trapped.

The book contains a preface and artworks by multidisciplinary artist Stéphan Crasneanscki, a text and photograph by author and poet Patti Smith (b. 1946, American) and a text and drawings by film director and screenwriter Philippe Grandrieux (b. 1954, French).

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