Elsa Leydier (1988, France) lives and works in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). She won the Prix Ruinart Paris Photo 2019 and is the winner of the Dior Prize for Photography for Young Talents 2019. In Brazil, where she moved in 2015, the young artist diverts the political charge of iconic images.
In Plátanos con Platino and Braços verdes e olhos Cheios de Asas, Leydier modifies the colors of her photographs made in Latin America to produce a “pop” and luminous image, bringing to its surface the richness of biodiversity. By an aesthetic that borrows its codes to luxury, Elsa Leydier revalorizes a territory and inhabitants delivered to land speculation. She joins the wonder of the poet Garcia Marquez who wrote in 1954 when he discovered this region: “If someone had the idea to sow a banana tree, the fruits would have grown loaded with platinum nuggets.”
With Les Echappées, Elsa Leydier rewrites, through poetry, socio-economic maps. On these cards, of which it erases the numerical mentions and the legend, it retains only tasks red blood, the imprint of evils recorded (modern slavery, assassinations of Indians …).
Her most recent project, Brazil: System Error (#elenão), is executed in the form of lightboxes in wood and glass imitating a mobile phone. They are silent witnesses of the presidential campaign 2.0 led by Jair Bolsonaro, current president of Brazil, in the din of social networks. At the end of 2018, during the presidential campaign, Leydier typed the word “Brazil” into a search engine. She got a series of “clichés” images of untroubled Brazil. By inserting the text of the invectives pronounced by the candidate Bolsonaro in the text code of each of the images, the artist modifies the digital DNA of the “beautiful image” and creates a visual bug (glitching technique). But is it really the artist who damages the image of Brazil?