Images produced without manipulation (DSLR Camera, Canon). They are part of a project I undertook while in Paris (January & February 2018), visiting, registering and studying works in museums and churches. Taking pictures in spaces like this was initially a kind of pilgrimage (in the sense explained by Proust/Ruskin). It started years earlier, not in France but countries like Portugal and the Netherlands (some of these other projects are also available here). And I never had a script. My intention was to photograph only what truly affected my senses, without looking for titles and authors, which in the case of more obscure works I discovered later on, when coming back to the pics, and some remain till now unknown or unconscious.
Colour, darkness and contrast, as well as texture are important (I want an effect which reveals the forces behind/throughout the image). A framework, support or the setting is sometimes underlined sometimes obliterated (as a parergon, in Derridean sense). I don't intend this as an academic, instructive exercise, quite on the contrary. I think the images should "speak" entirely by themselves (the truth is in their auras, and more than ever if the aura is lost). This is also an attempt to release the images from all the discursive networks that supposedly support them as officially sanctioned cultural artefacts (and if these networks were not official, my intention would be the same). Hylas or Hephaistos? The images should haunt us to the extent that we fail to name them, as dream impressions or memory failures.
The following quotations are enlightening:
"It has been argued that the Old Testament ban on 'graven images' is connected not only with a fear of idolatry but with the more universal fear of encroaching on the creator's prerogatives... [For the Eastern Church] the test was whether you could take the image by the nose. Are these magical beliefs?... I remember a visit I made to one of Queen Victoria's residences, Osborne on the Isle of Wight.... there was a life-size sculpture of a large furry dog..." (Ernst Gombrich, Art and Illusion).
"Has it not been suggested that the Great Sphinx was not conceived as the representation of a divinity but rather as a watchful guardian in his own right?... [Egyptian images] scarcely record a bygone reality; they embody a potent presence... [The Egyptian sculptor] weave a spell to enforce eternity. Not our idea of eternity... Plato we know, looked back with nostalgia at the immobile schemata of Egyptian art" (Ernst Gombrich, Art and Illusion).
Works photographed here include a Greek head of Apollos and the Roman bust of a satyr also know as the "Faun de Vienne."