The aim, however, was not to make faithful records of these objects so much as to bring out other aspects through a play with light. That is how the shadows came to be joined to the objects, their superimposition giving them a strange form. This filter, this rangefinder or this adapter are less the subject of my images than the relation between the object and its shadows. Intertwined, the substantive object and the empty space support each other, call out to each other; they become one, a new entity, close to the mysterious world of insects.
The chosen specimens are an entry point to a collection that could be vast and without end, but which does not in actual fact exist. In contrast to the entomologist intent on cataloguing different types of insects, my project does not stem from the desire to build an actual collection. Rather, the desire is to sketch an idea of it, drawing on the potential of each abandoned object to become a specimen in one way or another.
Socrates’ shadows is part of a broader interrogation of perception. Sometimes there is a gap between reality and what we see, making it difficult to tell the difference between truth and falsehood. The shadows cast by the photographed objects encroach on the image and contaminate it. In the allegory of Plato’s cave, Socrates describes the world of the senses as a prison for the soul. Yet the suturing of substance and emptiness in these photographs frees the object of its materiality and propels it with its shadows into a protean and strange ballet. A butterfly with outstretched wings? A flower’s petals? The sheer of a catamaran’s sails? Who knows what exactly they represent. Socrates maintained that men chained to the depths of the earth are bound to ascribe reality only to the shadows of fabricated objects. Belonging to a more or less recent past, the objects and documents that capitalism smites with obsolescence at ever-accelerating rates are being reanimated today, thanks to the shadows that they cast and which surround them. Straddling a double temporality, of yesterday and today, these objects undergo a metamorphosis that may save them from the forgetting to which they’ve been destined. That, at least, is my wager.