In 2009, he finished “1784”, a series complete with incoherencies, blurred boundaries of time and space, mental images colliding with perceptions. Yet while “The Dark Lens” and “We Will Remain on Earth” called up our memories of the future, “1784” awakens our fantasies of the past.
In “1784”, Cédric Delsaux transplants today’s people into yesterday’s world and revisits historical painting. He imposes an anachronistic frame, and lets people, objects and light coexist, allowing reality to penetrate this erroneous time and space. “Photography is made at the time it is made”.
Developed like a short film, with an advertising aesthetic, “1784” was built in 7 days in a sprawling décor and transformed, a castle with a blind landscape, surrounded by forest, without any horizon, no echos, actors in time period costumes and authentic makeup… everything was there. Except the meaning, an overdose that remains enigmatic, “a story within a story that pushes us to think about the meaning we try all costs to give to pictures.”
“1784” is a blend of truth and troubling accidents, like a vast advertising campaign turned sour. We can observe a stagnating aristocracy, void of any drive to live, actors mumbling incomprehensibly, anachronistic details, absurd situations, everything crammed into an aesthetic very close to our invented memories and how we idealize them.
“1784”, with its advertising aesthetic, follows no publicity rules: no emotions, no promises, no desire. “We dissuade”. The world is offered like fiction, everything thought about, contrary to the “visual joke” of advertising, Cédric Delsaux offers a teleportation of the absurd and the precious through the world of ideas, to better awaken our perceptions and confront reality with authenticity.
“1784” was for Cédric Delsaux and all of the participants – nearly all volunteers – a strange and unforgettable experience. Noticed two years ago, this series has never been shown or exhibited. It didn’t provoke any reactions, either positive or negative, remaining a beautiful floating object, undefined, unreferenced.
Other pictures might still come out of the “box”, given the editing they are maturing in the photographers spirit, who is slowly developing his subject and his aesthetic in order to turn “1784” into a book in 2012.
Casting : Elsa Georgelin/Felix the Cast – Styled by : Isabelle Baudry – Hair and Makeup : Pierre François