Thomas Paquet's work revolves around the notion of space and time. Far from the information overloads and the speed excesses of the digital realms, Thomas quietly explores with matter. He envisages photography as an art which cannot be separated from its craft. As such, film is often at the core of his creation process and it is common for him to employ alternative techniques such as Polaroid, wet collodion prints or gum bichormate printing process. But most importantly his work is an invitation to go beyond our own expectations of reality, blurring the lines between science and poetry, materiality and abstraction, objectivity and subjectivity.
THOMAS PAQUET • FRAGMENTS #1
GALERIE THIERRY BIGAIGNON
EXHIBITION (PART 1): 25 JANUARY - 10 MARCH, 2018
“To see the world as it really is, one has to dream it first”. It is with this quote by French philosopher Gaston Bachelard that Thomas Paquet introduces his work. An invitation to daydreaming, a journey to the unknown, a poetic play of light.
How can we trace the excitement of life in matter back to its origins? How can we represent what surpasses and contains us, without us seeing its contours? How to distinguish what lives and what does not? French-Canadian photographer Thomas Paquet, considers that “photography has always reflected both extreme certainty, because it represents a reality that exists or that has existed, and extreme uncertainty as we never see what it represents in the way as it represents it.”
Wether mystical or scientific, photography is a construction game, playing with our senses to depict an experience of the world. A play on perceptions and interpretations, a journey whose finality leaves the reflexion floating in front of a world that is sometimes impalpable. By exploiting our beliefs and representations of the world, thwarting scale relationships and image making protocols, Thomas Paquet arouses our curiosity for the immensity of the universe and tries to reveal to the spectator the emotion that comes from the evocation of a familiar form.
The use of instant development films or 4x5 inch films, the choice he makes to leave the black margins or the traces of clamps in the emulsion while developing, and indeed, the desire to represent an object, reveal in his work a documentary approach of photography and his desire to fix reality: the images do exist. Yet, despite the physical existence of the paper, of the film, of the medium and of the document as a whole, the reality of the subject is merely a decoy. These imaginary landscapes are only the result of an intuitive and arbitrary construction, a combination of colours and surfaces captured by the camera.
Using traditional processes (Polaroid, enlarger printing, bichromate gum, collodion), Thomas Paquet keeps an artisanal approach to photography. He works with matter, takes his time and challenges the speed at which our contemporary societies evolve on a daily basis. Thomas Paquet’s work is not exclusively aiming at fixing a portion of space but focuses on the duration itself.
Let us leave our worries aside and take a moment to dream and be enchanted by the world. Let curiosity light up our spirits! Thierry Bigaignon comments: “Thomas Paquet is a poet. He constructs his verses with light and makes the colours rhyme. Just as Verlaine preferred the sound of his nine syllabus verses, Thomas composes his colorful compositions with the same structure!”