Diptych and synchronicity
From his knowledge, Jacques Cochin has been the first, in 1985, to develop the concept of "Correspondence diptychs".
This approach consist in choosing two distant subjects and joining them in a diptych were each part retains his autonomy but unifying them by synchronicity and affinity forces. Refer to the texts from his books "Modus Ex Machina" and Alter Ego". Hereafter.
MODUS EX MACHINA
Life is beautiful!…
I use photography in the pursuit of my passions - beauty, speed and surrealism.
While speed for me is an earthly sensation of sheer joy, beauty goes further in that it is hard-wired to the soul. The surreal on the other hand is a catalyst of emotion and poetry, in an age that on first analysis is often materialistic. The world is beautiful – the brake master cylinder of a Maserati or the floating grace of a woman’s dress have in them as much beauty as an Old Master.
Our times are governed by interactions and quickening change, perspectives stretch longer, the arts continuously echo each other, mingle and interbreed. Traditional views of the world blur, especially in the relationship that women have with cars - in the past they were unidirectional macho status symbols; today they are prime examples of Yin and Yang. Through morphing, reality can dissolve like in a distorting mirror. Photography only remains valuable if it gives others the opportunity to change their perspective, to see an over-familiar reality differently by playing with signs and associations. Fragments do part of the job, by generating a very specific imaginary construct that reveals and magnifies by allusion.
This accentuated reality then needs to be made to sparkle and the way it works understood – a form that is both sensitive and conceptual has to be set up, which expresses this view of the world. A new language appears with the corresponding diptych, close to writing, which shifts the reality of its primary state and forces the observer to take on a type of telepathic discourse, linking it to the intellect. The receiver is involved in finishing the work - through a double reading (s)he must associate first, then separate or invert. This is why the key part happens to be the blind field or the subtle off-stage element that separates the two visual ones. The break in the diptych divides what the rectangle of the photo delimits, it opens up what is closed in and the shapes falter, shadowed in mystery. For Barthes, photography is like a pictorial “Haiku” (a Japanese poem valued for its short simplicity, received via the senses by all the senses) and “punctum” (which associates reality and truth). Here, photography follows a logic similar to that of poetry, by putting reality in step with virtuality, which is doubtlessly one of the drivers of art in this new century.
While style results from preconceptions, drives and interior resonance, sincerity in art arises from the artist’s intent to conceive unfettered by the constraints and schools of the moment. Criticism butters up what is banal, ordinary and neutral (after what is abject, nothing, ugly), all that passes. Only the high vibrations survive; they are a source of enchantment. I try to get there by remaining light. As Maurice Blanchot said, “Wherever lightness is offered, gravity is never lacking”.
Chance and my necessity
This book is the outcome of 20 years of research, starting from an idea that germinated on my light table in 1987 where my fashion pictures found themselves ";by chance" alongside a Formula 1 Grand Prix. By chance? That's what I thought for a while.
In fact, what we call a chance occurrence is a miscellaneous hotchpotch to which we conveniently assign anything that is not produced by rational endeavour.
What can you do when the picture is done other than undo it or, better, find its echo? When I take photographs, I never have a specific picture in mind for which I would be seeking a counterpart. But when I take pictures of fashion, I think of cars, seeking colours, shapes textures and car-like lines. And I do recognise the potential instantaneously, from what is possible to what is certain. And it's the same process with the shapes of cars, although with a little more tolerance in practice, because what is possible in women's fashion is practically infinite!
Reality goes beyond fiction: if I were to photograph these two subjects in a studio, my imagination would never be as prolific as the life frozen in a documentary, where the unexpected, short-lived, natural event gives the feeling of a scene that really took place, that was spontaneous and genuine. I am the spectator of these Masses (the fashion shows) and these acts of the opera (the car races). It is important for me to combine the spirit of a documentary and the expurgatory techniques of the fashion photographer. There is always too much information in a picture.
To be successful in this requires driving determination with the chosen picture, followed by a latency period with no specific search in mind, in order to open up to intuition and to keep one's wits sufficiently sharp in order to recognise the significant echo. A kind of analogical clairvoyance also comes into play, as if my necessity was preventing the chance occurrence from taking place.
The small miracle occurs when the two pictures resonate and trigger a deep, disturbing feeling within the observer, cause him/her to switch harmonics also, and enable him/her to perceive another dimension of reality that is not material but vibratory.
After the scientific craze for strict rationality and defined probability, similarities with no causal link between them are ... in fashion! Since chaos theory and quantum mechanics, would there be a force that brings similar things together according to affinities? ... which forms a real pattern, connecting mind and matter that would supersede the causal links of the rational world?
Diptychs and what they correspond to could be a privileged vehicle of this form of inquiry.
Jung liked to quote a phrase inscribed on the pediment of an Indian temple: "If you go back to the origin of a coincidence, it becomes inevitable".
Please note: My photographs are only exceptionally reframed (5 out of 268) and very rarely touched up with photo editing software, if only to remove specks of dust, a too commanding advertisement on a racing car or a dominant colour that didn't exist.