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Hans Silvester and his Findings – Triptych #3


This magician makes us dialogue permanently, with his works, during each of our confrontations. After years and years of criss crossing the planet, in all directions, Hans does not take sides, he observes; then, he reports his findings to us. It brings us face to face with reality. Reality always exposes a complex and coherent whole that evolves over time. This inseparable whole is this wonderful technological evolution neutralized by the stupidity, the greed and the selfishness of current human and societal behavior.

Hans Silvester is anything but a photographer who adapts or bows to passing fads. The sporadic and ephemeral movements relayed by the media are not his cup of tea. For him, photography is not just fleeting information. His images are thought out and constructed to make a moment last, the shape of which will freeze a date; but, whose background will be anchored in the depths of our memories. On closer inspection, his compositions drawn with a chalk line, the presence of light fully part of the image make the message readable by all. As much as the contemporaries of the shooting enjoyed their life set for after. Future generations born under other skies with other educational principles are also wondering. The author, so close to Nature and his respect, brings his creativity for works accessible to all, without temporal erosion. Half a century after they were fixed on film and while his photographed subjects have disappeared, all of Hans Silvester’s testimonies encourage us – as on the first day – to reflect, to move us, to question ourselves.

All these little nothings that seemed so trivial to us in their time (for those who lived through them) and that current behavior surrounds, without complex, in medieval nimbus. All these views of their ancestors whom they did not know should appeal to these new generations. How could one survive without social networks and their comforting multitudes of friends? How could we harvest without phytosanitary products to sell delicious fruits? How could you choose without multilayer packaging to enjoy your favorite yogurt? How could one move without GPS to find the door of his garden? How could you use a bike without destructive batteries to do your health exercises? All these questions are underlying in Hans’ photographs.

It is common knowledge that Hans Silvester is a great defender of the environment, the real one in its entirety and not only the immediate news, media announcements or various NGO opportunities. However, his photographic mastery objectively brings us all the elements for our own reflection, without bias. Take a good look at his photographs, even a little better; I have never heard a visitor or a reader say “I like” or “I don’t like” on the first confrontation. The emotions, the questions are instinctive and individual before making a judgment or an appreciation.

Isn’t that what we expect from a true photographic work?

Thierry Maindrault

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