To my way of thinking, by far the most perplexing characteristic in the universe is Entropy. At the very foundations of the universe time can go both forwards and backwards. Energy can become matter and matter can turn back into energy. This is certainly not the way we perceive the world on a daily basis. Somehow, only larger entities seem to be getting older, to develop “time afflictions”. Time is forbidden to flow in reverse, the law of entropy is forcing everything into one direction only, towards what we perceive as the future.
The series “Excerpts from the Book of Entropy” is an esthetic reminder of this law. In the slow decay that affects everything I try to transcend physical matter or the laws of nature, to find deeper meaning in what I see and photograph. Through the act of capturing my subjects photographically, I attempt to slow the implacability of fate drawn by the hands of entropy and save them from the ravages of time. The harmony can be restored in the end if we establish a new kind of orbit for our own thoughts and sensibilities.
For many years now I’ve been collecting the different objects captured in my photos. Each object is a trip to an antique shop, a curiosity store, lengthy rummage through piles of stuff and conversations with shop owners. At times an object might come with a story. But more often, that story is unknown, lost somewhere under the dust of time. In some way, those are my favourite objects as they allow me to create and tell their story, to imagine their path through time and take the viewer on a trip along it.
With every object collected, ideas begin to form, to develop. And as time goes by I engage in a process of selection, of eliminating all concepts except one. But is the remaining idea worth communicating? Has it been told before? How do I say it differently? How do I express it best? Is the story one that would resonate with the viewer? What medium should I use? What kind of light? Do I go for equilibrium or chaos? For a long time, it all feels like a question and answer period. I go back and forth between one answer and another until I finally decide. The final equation needs to perfectly balance so the process requires lots of fine tuning.
I love light. It is always an important, central presence in all my work. Light is pure energy – photons at work – and I play with it the way I play with clay. I am thrilled at its flexibility, the fact that it can reveal a story, dilute or concentrate a message, make suggestions of things that are not really there. By slightly moving the angle, all magical proportions of light and shadow can change dramatically. Light can partially, or fully transform a subject. It can induce emotions, distract from the main message, create compositional relationships. The possibilities are endless. In the “Excerpts from the Book of Entropy” series, one thing I decided was to allow for large areas of darkness in each photo, to mirror the fact that while we have some knowledge, most of it is still in shadows, waiting to be brought to light.