Arabic calligraphy is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy based on the alphabet. It is known in Arabic as khatt (Arabic: خط), derived from the word ‘line’, ‘design’, or ‘construction’. Kufic is the oldest form of the Arabic script.
Using long-exposure, artist Kaalam (aka Julien Breton) creates stunning light photography. Drawing inspiration from classical calligraphy, specifically Arabic and Eastern styles, the artist has created his own Latin-based letters and words.
Julien Breton’s art is a cry in silence. Everything is silence. Its movement, the light that cuts through the air, the ephemeral words, the darkness that envelops it, the evanescent traces of its shadow, the electric colours and the geometry that dissolves into nothingness.
Everything is a cry. He has said: “Le silence écrit. Le silence est cri.” To write in silence is a total immersion in the concentration of each single gesture that finds its expression in the very moment when the camera lens, in a single shot, is imprinted by the complex sum of the artist’s drawing in light. A shot that is transformed into a film with a single frame. A performance lasting several minutes for an image where the artist disappears and only the result of his art remains.
To be present when he undertakes a work is like spying on an alchemist through the keyhole. You remain open mouthed and in silence without knowing where all those gestures, those silent dance steps, are leading to. For the whole duration, what is most impressive is the severe and concentrated gaze of the artist which almost jars with the curves of light he leaves behind him; yet when the work is finished, the gaze disappears and is lost inside the diaphragm of a camera, and all that remains is what earlier had seemed so ephemeral and confused. A ray of light perfectly drawn in the air. A dance between the artist and the landscape. Each of his works results from the complete fusion with the context in which the work develops.