Jean Louis Garnell – Works 1985–95
For the major photographic project Mission photographique de la Datar, for which 28 photographers took pictures of the French landscape in the 1980s, Jean Louis Garnell contributed a series of colour photos which show the landscape as a proliferous field of change, of transition. After this series of signs from the outer world, the French photographer turned to the interior: in Désordre he presents lodgings and living quarters as a fragile balance or as ingenious structures of order and chaos, construction and destruction.
Jean Louis Garnell then presented a series of portraits, seemingly made without author, but only by the passage of time. Finally, in the Suites five photographs – portraits of his family, self-portraits, interiors, objects, views from a window – form an ensemble which become a symbol for a state, a condition, through very definite characteristics, such as the atmosphere in the pictures, the climate, the distance between the pictures. Real signs for trends, transitions, constructions, orderings, definitions, and dispersal become generalized, become symbols for Being today, for the thin ice on which our existence skates, forms itself or falls through: Something is or is not, a picture is – or is not – joined by a second or third. Jean Louis Garnell’s precisely perceived colour photos balance between the reproduction of reality and pictorally autonomous formation, between the feasibility and contingency of the world, between coolness and tension in confronting it.
The exhibition was curated by Urs Stahel.