Genetically Modified Photographs
“I appreciate the originality of an antique.” Tristan Tzara,1918
Using decoupage, I want to create – in the manner of Frankenstein – an artificial being made not from dead bodies but from a collation of photographs of people that died long ago. These photographs have been abandoned by their owners or the owners’ descendants and the identity of the subjects is unknown.
And so my hand-crafted and surreal monsters come to life. There is something sacrilegious in this approach. By meddling as I do with the memory of unknown people, by sacrificing these original photographs whose negatives I do not possess, and who cannot therefore be reproduced at will, by my mixing up of faces and bodies, it could well be that in my ignorance I place the head of a Capulet on the body of a Montaigu.
The images of Sylvain Granjon contain aspects of comedy, absurdity and surrealism. He has been able to utilize abandoned photographs to create a rebirth which has immediate impact on a viewer’s visual memory. Although Sylvain comments that there is something sacrilegious in his approach, one could also view it as a reincarnation.
His approach is partial photographic and alternatively collage ; expanding the perception of what defines a photograph.
Roger Ballen, photographer
The series will be screened at the Rencontres d’Arles’ Nuit de l’année, on July 5th, in the “coup de coeur du festival” section at the Papeteries Etienne.