Thierry Maindrault is a regular collaborator of L’Oeil de la Photographie. He will keep a monthly column.
Here is the 1st. Its theme: quarantines, of course!
Whether you are beginners or old-timers, young or old, technicians or poets, students or teachers, volunteers or merchants, you all frequent and you love a huge common space: where Man can write, store and transmit his thoughts with the help of the Light. I share your passion and this bubble where everything seemed to be going so well!
And then, a small virus that slept quietly in a corner was awakened, like it has been said may be by a gastronomic kiss, to come and settle in the midst of our lifes. Nothing too bad on the scale of Mother Nature, this unwelcomed belongs like its brothers and sisters, like its cousins, to the number almost infinite of known and unknown members of microbiology. The only defect of this biological avatar is to have found a cosy nest to improve its replication at the expense of a species, – about seven billion individuals -, which enclose themselves inside artificial shells to avoid this unwanted guest.
But what does this harmful microbe do in one of the most important journals dedicated to the distribution of images in all its sides? This parasite requires us, to paraphrase a former French president: “to give time to Time“. Because time was until now what was most lacking for each member of our globalised human society. Nothing was fast enough to supposedly free every one of us from the pseudo shackles which, let us be aware, enslaved the individual until he became a slave to himself.
Yes it is true, now, the social structures of the largest parts of the planet has just put on pause each of our “rat’s race”. Do not be worried, everything is not once and for all frozen as in a photograph. Time has not been stopped, the clocks always rotate and this Time continues to flow to the rhythms of relativity.
It is our individual behaviours that change speeds. The adaptation turns out to be more or less painful for some of us, was their negative a little too “dark” or conversely too “filmy before “? But for a lot of others their imagination and / or their creation remain in power and they already fill some of the best chapters in this review.
The fight of the spirit must continue; but, had it only stopped? Life is a permanent struggle and it is not a small troublemaker, even if it is a killer, which will divert us from what was built, shaped and adapted by generations of ancestors. Archiving of thought by photographic tools is one of the most important stones on the path of our evolution. Certainly photographic works are not alone inside the cultural corridor, far from me and my ideas of wanting to dismiss or minimise the others and multiple transmitters of our ideas and our souls.
Readers, please do not leave your guard down, even if a confinement can quickly make you drowsy or may turn into hibernation. Let free your thoughts, your dreams! Lets wake up your intelligence, your creativity, your memory! Lets capture these ephemeral and illusory rays which play, which cross, which reflect, which fade and which finally record their passage on a grain of silver, on a molecule of bitumen or on a microscopic photodiode.
You are, we are actors of one of these great plague which cross the history of Humanity. So, you must, we must be actors and reporters through the image, your images, the Image that fixes Time.
March 30, 2020.