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Jacques Garnier


Hymns to the Silence

Grace in isolation. This is the central theme of Jacques Garnier’s Hymns to the Silence.  The motivating factor is to create space around an object (isolated architectural elements) so it can breathe and be appreciated it for what it is without any distractions. These minimal, abstracted b&w photographs dwell in the zone between report and fabrication. “I try to create the poem from the evidence,” said playwright Arthur Miller. Garnier’s photographs capture modernist buildings with detail and fidelity, but at the same moment are crafted, poetic fictions. They directly record but are vastly recast. Consequently, they strike an attentive viewer simultaneously as remembrance and as revelation.  By peeling away the layers, he has increasingly decided that art should not deliver a report on reality but instead look at what is behind reality. The artist seeks to transcend the subject, essentially make subject matter irrelevant. These are reductive works, images that remove the superfluous and in so doing forces the viewer to look inward, past the clutter of our normal world which distracts us, while allowing him to focus on the calmness or stillness that tends to evade us. What remains, finally, is awareness itself, a consciousness of visual perception itself which intensifies all desire for contemplation. The negative space of these deconstructed images is the pause between the notes of the music, a disruption, to make you create your own interpretation and to enjoy the silence. This emptiness allows for potential. This is an emotional quest, a spiritual journey. Perhaps Lau Tzu said it best some 2,700 years ago: “Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.”






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