They never adopted the name for themselves
Stéphane C.’s images constitute a sedimentary set of photographs. It is a composition arranged in layers. Compact and dense, regarding not only textures but also depths. Light sweeps black in order to set the subjects away from darkness which made them unintelligible, till then immersed in obscurity. We are facing a process of materialization. Hence there is archaeology of reality which struggled to reveal what was hidden, diminutive, in order to bring it out into the open. An everyday process consisting of a methodical and long term research, about space and time situations seldom revealed. The author speaks well about the in-between. About subtle cracks that must be experienced in order to get their echoes.
Yet photography, working often to make accurate reports about what once was «there», holds a hesitation. Was it actually like this? If there is a fictional dimension, mixed with a biographical reference, the recovery of an interior status established by black and white mode can also be spotted. These statuses reveal the invisible. Image alone may confer them a figurative existence. Were they only lodged within the photographer’s spirit? When there is archaeology, there is also a previous disappearance. The beat of the first set of images stands for the friction of two overlapping worlds. Becoming visual meets deletion. And a ghostly atmosphere, maybe a little mystic, results from it. Certain postures of the protagonists evoke a quest for redemption. They sometimes seem to be pushed into a ritual wandering at the end of which nothing but their own disappearance shall occur.
Then a second period takes place. A sort of tranquillity intervenes where light adopts a new status for a moment. It radiates and thereby it blinds the surfaces. Due to its brightness, faces, bodies, facades and windows are wiped out. There again, symbols suggest that this course will surely lead to exorcism, as in the image of the man who seems to make his ablutions in the middle of a lake.
In this series the role of the mark is crucial. Marks in writing, « Silence », « Coming soon very sad », tattoos, disfiguring incisions on the photograph of a dead child. The existing tested by the afflicted matter.
Marks from the author’s passage across a territory, on the hypersensitive photo film, in order to give back what he consciously witnessed. Stamps contained in a frozen space even if shivering.
Something else arises from this space of pictorial representation: a permanent concern about preservation. To preserve. To preserve always. That’s what really matters to the author. He transmits the instant grasped from everyday life but also the issue of existing images: posters, small ID photos, the anatomy of a society resting over representation and memory.
Confronted with the photographer’s work and with his approach to its duration, Sisyphe´s myth comes to our mind. The myth of the eternal task and its eternal restart. Implacable.
In between. It’s one of the tittles of the Stéphane C.’s photo series, as if an entrance into an ambiguous world. This series, as we may well guess, has no beginning and no end. Stéphane C. abandoned himself to the obsession of photographing. No matter where he is or what he does. The essential is to remove the veil of uncertainty from things. As if the sum of the appearances, would give but a partial and undefined vision of the world, though always vibrant and lively. These images don’t reveal another world - it is our own world - but the photographer tries to remove its wound and pain with a touching sincerity. It is an exacerbated attempt to foster the coexistence of reality and its double on a photographic plan, just as if he wishes to make daylight get into night.
Amaury Da Cunha
Place of Exhibition
Museu da Imagem
More information soon.