Noémie Goudal

© Noémie Goudal (2016) - Mechanical I-III

Something might have come to me when looking at Noémie Goudal’s fantastic work. I have been interested for some time in something I term in my head ‘tessellating reality’. Here, a single picture of a scene is taken but then split up into smaller parts. These parts can overlap or tessellate to form the larger print. However, I have been stuck and procrastinating on how to make my ideas (relating into an ulterior reality) into practice. One thing in particular got in my way of actually printing a scene and tessellating it into a bigger print. That is that there is an ‘invisible wall’ between where the object being photographed is and where it appears as the photograph. There is another ‘invisible wall’ between the photograph taken and where the viewer is standing. These factors make it quite confusing as to how big to print the tessellation, where to place the tessellation etc. For instance, in creating my ulterior reality I was quite adamant that I would place the tessellation into the same place it originated from. However, after looking at Goudal’s work it has become clear to me that it usually isn’t necessary and actually makes a refreshing difference to place the tessellation in a location that varies from the original.

Another realisation hit me by looking at Goudal’s work. The whole point of tessellating reality as proved by Goudal is to play with the tessellation and reality. I was previously looking at using it as a base, to either put something in front of or to hide behind the image and reveal through a gap in the tessellation. However, I feel I lost sight of the playful nature my ideas had started with as I got deeper into thinking how it might work. By stumbling across Goudal’s work and observing all of it quite closely, it seems to me behind the austere approach aesthetically, there is a playful nature that resides. Here, the tessellations are often peeling off to reveal plain backgrounds (takedowns (Goudal, 2018)) or a feature of the original is missing in the tessellation (Haven Her Body Was (Goudal, 2012)). Also sometimes (with In Search of the First Line (Goudal, 2015)) she places the tessellations into a location that playfully teeters on the edge of looking like it is part of the tessellation but actually is not.

© Noémie Goudal (2016) - Mechanical I-III
Fig. 1 © Noémie Goudal – ‘Mechanical I-III’ (2016)

Lastly, Goudal’s body of work tends to lean towards an impressive and expansive size. This seems to be with both the tessellations and the actual prints themselves. I feel this adds aura to the work through scale and is something to take into consideration when producing this kind of work myself. Not being an exception, Studies on Perspective I (Goudal, 2014) shows an installation of a tessellation of massive proportions. Interestingly, the tessellation are on different planes, much like Georges Rousse’s oeuvre, although with photographs. She cleverly photographs it head on so the full effect of the illusion can be observed and from an angle so the craftsmanship that has gone into the installation can be seen. I had been wondering about a tessellation that appeared on different planes but with photographs. Seeing it carried out like this gave me real inspiration to try something similar albeit on a smaller scale!


Fig. 1 Goudal, N. (2016) Mechanical I-III. [Photograph] Retrieved from: (Accessed 03/04/2019).

Goudal, N. (2012) Haven Her Body Was. At: (Accessed 02/04/2019).

Goudal, N. (2014) Studies on Perspective I. At: (Accessed 02/04/2019).

Goudal, N. (2015) In Search of the First Line. At: (Accessed 02/04/2019).

Goudal, N. (2018) takedowns. At: (Accessed 02/04/2019).


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