Jean-Michel Fauquet, Le grand séparateur
Renaissance scholars, improving on the method recommended by St. Thomas Aquinas to readers so that they may enhance their ability to remember, suggested the mental construction of architectural models, palaces, theatres, etc., to house the thing people wish to remember. They recommended that these things of the mind should be treated affectionately and that they should be transformed into ‘unusual similarities’, which would make them easy to visualise and remember.
This work gathers together the elements of a ‘photobiographical’ memory. It is concerned with developing these famous ‘unusual similarities’ punctuating the evolution of a memory going back to the dawn of time, by proceeding through successive stages using extremely precarious materials. The manner in which these figures—kinds of memory decoys—are constructed provokes a tale in the mind of the person looking at them, and helps to fix the memory of founding events in a feeling of déjà vu, of ‘already lived’.
Le Grand Séparateur indicates the distance that it is necessary to establish with the subject for it to appear to us in its most profound exactness, by opening the free range of our own memory. Consisting of three elements placed at the centre of this memorial topography, it creates the link between these different tales and sets up a system of zones of affection and tension, depending on the spectator’s point of view, by subjecting the latter to the test of a question.
Halted in its pendular movement, it very precisely fixes, at the place of its verticality, the intersection point between the time of horizontal memory and vertical time, and thus determines the photographic instant.
Exhibition venue: Atelier de Chaudronnerie, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2013.