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Concordia Album (UK) (2015)

I had never met Christian before he walked into my studio at La Friche de Mimi recently and announced that he had been a passenger on the Concordia that fateful night in January 2012. As he stood over my porcelain series (simply titled ‘Concordia Album’), slightly bewildered and clearly moved, he then recounted a few anecdotes and showed me images still on his own mobile phone of that night. This chance meeting was a profound experience for us both – Christian viewing my work which reflected on a traumatic moment in history he had witnessed on the one hand – myself witnessing a passenger who had physically experienced this dramatic moment viewing my work on the other. It only seemed natural to invite Christian to write a text to introduce this series, a contribution which has enhanced and completed this project which I’ve felt since the outset was missing an element.
CB 2015

“A work of art should always teach us that we haven’t previously seen what we are seeing.” Paul Valéry

This quote from Paul Valéry sheds light on the meticulous and impassioned work of Charlie Bonallack. The creative force of this evocation reminds of the intemporality of bthe event: passing in a second from the reassuring cocoon, entirely banal, of a cruise ship, to a situation of intellectual as well as physical shock which can be summed up in these words: “This is not possible.”
The art work doesn’t repeat the scene, which was so unexpected that the passengers for, along time could not believe it was real.
The work — which greatly moved me and brought back to my memory the events I lived that night — allows us to meditate on the fundamentals of existence. It forces us to go beyond the temporality of life. By the very fragility of the medium, it calls us to ,examine our corporal essence and with its great veracity to become conscious of our, own fragility, to look at ourselves as if we had never seen ourselves, as Paul Valéry said so well.
Christian Brulé, 2015 (passenger of the Costa Concordia on 13 January 2012)


For more info on this project: CONCORDIA ALBUM