Fotografije idiličnih scena s dječjeg kampiranja, samo... umjesto žive djece vidimo lutke. Spooky. Jesu li ljudska bića bolja i ljepša kad su umjetna, ili su tada samo istinitija? Ili su i lutke iz izloga jednako magične kao i "prava" djeca? Ili i nije važno, jer su sjećanja ionako uvijek stripovi u sepiji. Nešto
neugodno i ugodno istovremeno.
'Bernard Faucon was one of the first photographers in the second half of the 20th century to systematically create and master the constructed image. Nonetheless, he declines Christian Caujolle's characterization of his work as "an approach to time in the context of photography and life that investigates the feeling behind contrived settings, the deceits of photography in its relation to reality, and its manipulation of truth and forgery, which confronts the medium's limits and defies them."
'Faucon's best known work is an interrelated series of photographic tableaux made largely in the 1980s that re-create and evoke the experience called childhood, particularly the boys' tradition called summer camp. Every photograph is carefully staged, down to the smallest detail, and uses life-like mannequins of boys who so closely resemble their real-life counterparts that it is hard to tell them apart. Bernard Faucon is an anomaly: Like other artists and photographers who utilize overtly artificial methods, he inescapably works with "constructs" and "concepts". Yet he is not a Conceptual artist; his point is ambiguous rather than explicit or philosophical, as all Conceptual art photography is. Indeed, he has no desire to make a point at all. Instead, he wants us to relive what he cherishes and loves the most: Childhood, its particular experiences as well as the universal emotions it evokes.
'As Faucon has put it, "The idea of fabricating fictions, the idea of a possible equation between photography and the dummies, struck me quite out of the blue. Childhoods made of flesh and plaster, the many lights of the Luberon, the nostalgia and actuality of desires, crystallised together through the magical operation of the photographic record. The power to fix, eternalise in light, attest to the world the perfection of an instant. I would hurriedly set up the dummies, and after the shot, pack up and set off again. As they invested those places that bore the mark of my childhood I imagined that those little men freed from their shop-windows, released unknown forces, brought to light sublime, masterful evidence."
'Faucon has produced some of the most original photographs of the late 20th century. He has been at the forefront of the staged, surrealist school of photography since its inception in the 1970s and is now considered one of its leading proponents. One of Faucon's most ardent admirers, Roland Barthes, the greatest European critic of the latter part of the 20th century, sees his work as a metaphor for the vertiginous experience: "The real in Faucon's art is both the subtly delirious and the heightened awareness of the feelings they arouse in us: Freakish pleasure, irrational fear, unbridled fantasies, forbidden yearnings. It is a marriage of heterogeneous species of reality."' -- collaged
Bernard Faucon Official Website
Bernard Faucon: Art & writings @ Agence Vu
'True Fiction: Bernard Faucon in China'
Bernard Faucon, "The Most Beautiful Day of My Youth"
'Cooking is Bernard Faucon's second oeuvre'
Bernard Faucon @ tumblr
Bernard Faucon interviewed (in French)
'The Polaroids of Bernard Faucon'
Books on Bernard Faucon @ Amazon
'Ballade dans l’univers glauque de Bernard Faucon'
'Evocation de Bernard Faucon'
'La période bleue de Bernard Faucon'
from Centurion Magazine
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO THINK, FEEL OR SAY AFTER THEY'VE VIEWED A PHOTOGRAPH OF YOURS OR READ ONE OF YOUR WRITINGS?
What I expect from my public and from the person standing closest to me is appreciation. Not in the social sense of success, but rather in deeper sense: I want them to see, to perceive what I have within me – the singularity and uniqueness of my perspective of the world. Of course this uniqueness changes: it's keen when we're young, and it weakens as we progress though life.
AFTER RECEIVING SO MUCH PRAISE FOR YOUR ART AND GATHERING A FOLLOWING, HOW DO YOU PREVENT FAME FROM INFLUENCING YOUR ART?
Personally, the public acknowledgement doesn't affect me much; if it had, I would have mastered my career better. Many people all over the world may enjoy and collect my photographs, but the place I occupy in the art world is infinitesimal.
AS AN ARTIST, INSPIRATION IS A NECESSITY. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
There's no recipe for finding inspiration. Traveling and driving fast with the music turned all the way up aren't always enough! You can go years without having a huge inspiration – it's always a surprise when it comes. You have to live and accumulate joy and suffering, even boredom, in the sense of the Romantics. You have to know it all.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTIC FOR AN ARTIST TO HAVE?
Without hesitation: a sense of necessity. Produce nothing that doesn't hearken to a compelling need for expression. Sincerity alone isn't enough to guarantee depth in a work of art.
DESPITE THE PRAISE YOU RECEIVED, YOU SUSPENDED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY IN 1997. DO YOU MISS TAKING PICTURES?
I suspended my 20-years' work in photographical production for reasons of necessity, loyalty to my 'first' inspiration and to avoid repeating myself and getting bored. But photography still accompanies me more or less as the illustration of my life, my writing.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF BEAUTY? WHAT MAKES SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL?
For me, art has to do with beauty, and in my pictures I try to create the conditions that lead to that dynamic instant in which beauty and happiness come together in a balanced way. Because my work is collaborative and democratic, we can see these young people looking at their world in a way that reflects the unique beauty of their innocence. And then, during the exhibitions that followed the photo shoots, some would tell me, "This is the most beautiful day of my youth."
(Preuzeto s bloga književnika Dennisa Coopera)
Bernard Faucon, "The Most Beautiful Day of My Youth"
Bernard Faucon delivered an unforgettable lecture November 15, 2010 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His lecture was introduced by Diego Cortez who curated Faucon's current exhibition, "The Most Beautiful Day of My Youth," at the New Orleans Museum of Art (November 14, 2010 - March 13, 2011). Faucon also has another major solo exhibition at the Kobe Fashion Museum in Japan (October 21, 2010 - January 1, 2011) in which, for the first time, Faucon's mannequins are exhibited alongside the photographs of them. Two of the photographs of staged mannequins are actually reconstructed utilizing the same mannequins that are in the photographs.
Art critic Amy White writes in the press release, "Faucon was born in Provence in 1950 and pursued his education in philosophy and theology. After completing his master’s degree, he became one of the first contemporary artists to explore the universe of staged photography. His photographic work, which he began in 1976 and deliberately stopped in 1995, consists of seven large series of “true fictions.” In 1989, Faucon was chosen as the main recipient of Grand Prix National, France. His artwork has been exhibited internationally and he has written several books that have been published in French, English, Japanese and Korean.
In 1995, visionary French photographer Bernard Faucon stopped taking pictures. “One way or another,” the artist declared, “I had to eventually make true my claim to finish, my obsession with closing. This became The End Of The Image.” In a move that echoes Marcel Duchamp’s public exit from the world of art to play chess, Faucon has not presented any new work since his 1995 coup d’art.
In 1984, Jean Paul Michel described Faucon’s work as having: "...the striking effect of a presence by the most careful staging of an absence." In this phrase, Michel seems to have forecasted Faucon’s aesthetic vanishing act. And yet, if you look back at Faucon’s images, empty rooms aglow with unearthly light, natural landscapes as sites of the supernatural, saintly figures of desire, loss and supplication – it seems clear that this was Faucon’s project all along."
Bernard Faucon's dizzying lecture, delivered in French with English translation, was a powerpoint display of thousands of his magical photographs accompanied by his very French, very brilliant, very poetic, very philosophical voice. He showed us everything - all seven series of work, starting with his very first one - a surreal combination of photographs of his younger brother and images of his first paintings and box constructions that bring to mind Joseph Cornell and Ben Vautier. He spoke of his childhood home in Provence, in the small town of Apt, of the special Provencal light, of the enormous influence of his grandmother (while showing us a striking portrait of her standing in a wild field of tall pinkish-red stalks). He said that he wanted to "transmit an exceptional world, the sounds of children. I opened my apparatus to the world. Childhood is made of flesh and plaster." One can almost taste the plaster and pretend flesh when looking at his surreal photograph of a doll stuck, lengthwise, in a loaf of french bread.
Faucon then showed his series of photographs of mannequins that he worked on for four years. He spoke about "true fictions," that "photography is alive when there is an equilibrium between the real and the fiction that we bring into the real." His mannequins get up from a dinner table in a field with a fire burning in the distance. They are blindfolded and circle around a live girl in a white nightgown on top of a hill. They swim and drown, stand in a line and hold hands. He then moved into his Probable Evolution of Time series (1981-84), a gorgeous series of photographs of hovering fire balls in the sky, white balloons above the grass, pinwheels - their stems planted in the dry matted grasses - spinning against the blue sky. The next series is The Rooms of Love, a series of breathtaking rooms of reflected light, almost invisible curtains, shadows. One wooden room is filled with a bare tree covered with string and paper, a yellow curtain blowing into the space. Another ochre room with a checkerboard floor contains a bare bed. A pile of berries and leaves rest in a perfect fairy circle on the floor of an intensely golden room. Ghosts and spirits are afloat. He spoke of what he could "take out of photography, the power of photography, the alchemy of burning and emptiness, that gold is before whiteness."
Then he spoke of the series Idols and Sacrifices and his "magic confidence in the image". He said that in terms "of the question of living, we try to photograph the gods; there isa powerlessness to photography when next to the living." This series is comprised of photographs of live boys bathed in golden light and landscapes of red waterways through rocky and dry land. Next came his series Writings or Scriptures, color photographs of landscapes into which he has inserted large wooden letters covered in reflective scothlite fabric that form words, texts, truisms, his personal truths. The audience gasped when he described his process. The texts appear to be illuminated within nature, as if they were strings of flourescent tubes, cursive light - text as image, saying while showing.
The End of the Image, (but not quite) is a series of very small (4 x 5 inches) color photographs of text that Faucon has beautifully applied to boys' skin with white China ink. He showed over twenty of these very large on the projection screen. Unlike the fetishistic quality of the original, these glowed like billboards of desire, anthems of love, emblems of nostalgia. One such text on peach yellow skin reads, "I have been loved." He spoke about his obsession with clothing, with the skin and bodies of our lost childhoods and how this is the source of all nostalgia.
Faucon finally came to his "last" project, The Most Beautiful Day of My Youth, 1997-2003, that he describes as the "opposite of my previous work." However, curator Diego Cortez interjected during the lecture that, "this project is conceptually very much like Faucon's previous projects in that it is of the imagination of the child looking out and not about the us looking at the child." Faucon organized one-day celebrations in 25 countries to which he invited one hundred young people. They were each given a disposable camera and asked to bring an object to this event and to make images of their experiences. Collaborative, interactive, generous, these images from all over the world sometimes resemble Faucon's own work and style, but others appear to be of an entirely different aesthetic. (Faucon edited the ones for each exhibition so there was a tendency, conscious or not, to choose Fauconesque images.) There are scenes of joy and embracing, goofy poses and prayer, smiles and light, the abundance of happiness and life in this world that we are afraid of losing. Faucon spoke of the importance of photography in constructing memory and how this project was done in the pre-digital age, meaning right before the utter explosion and overwhelming constant experience of being on-screen, on Facebook, on Twitter, with a live-feed, of seeing what is happening right now and over and over again as we click again and again, not the shutter but our mouse or keyboards. These images are "real" photographs from "real" negatives. What is captured "really happened" and is not a photoshopped imaginary world. Yet, Faucon talked about how now the "photographer is not someone who takes the photograph but who chooses it. The photographer's eye is no longer behind the camera but the photographer makes an image of something that already exists as an image."
And yet, in Faucon's photographs, all of them, we see things we have not seen before, worlds that Faucon has made, taken, constructed, seen, captured and loved. Proustian, nostalgic, glowing with desire and beauty, Faucon's photographs prove that photography can still be magical, alchemical, unique and transformative. Photography is ALIVE in Bernard Faucon - www.daylightmagazine.org/blog