With Le temps des grenadines, the French photographer invites us to discover a long project, carried out since 2004 with the complicity of his eldest son. Through the years he has tried to capture the essence of childhood as a careful observer of his boy, but also by returning to his own childhood. Here he brings out a timeless vision, made tangible and touching particularly by the very delicate, silver-based prints that he made himself. It is the first chapter in a trilogy both private and universal that Dan Aucante is currently showing at the Galerie Patrick Gutknecht in Paris.
In this first appreciation of childhood, Dan Aucante is particularly drawn to its signals, symbols and secrets. The physical incarnation of his son is still hardly in evidence and in the end it is the echo of memories from his own young years that responds to his own son’s games and rituals that he captures in his camera viewfinder. We travel through two entangled temporalities and, little by little, lose contact with objective reality. Dan Aucante kneads childhood like a primary material that he makes his own. Then he gives us the possibility of monopolising it, of compounding our own stories of childhood, imaginary or real.
In several of Dan Aucante’s images, the light is an indication of an appearance or a disappearance. Morning or midday light for his son’s childhood, evening light in the memory and perception of his own childhood, whose memory rebounds and fades as one feels going along the images. Impermanence and persistence of childhood.
Olivier Bourgoin is an author specialising in photography and founder of Agence Revelateur, All of the three chapters comprising Don Aucante’s “Le Temps des Grenadines” will be shown at the Galerie Patrick Gutknecht in Geneva. A monograph will be published at the same time.
Dan Aucante, Le temps des grenadines
From 6th September to 6th October 2017
Galerie Patrick Gutknecht
78 rue de Turenne