Mathieu Gargam

Josephine Van De Walle

For the last five years Mathieu Gargam has built up an archive of found images, slides he accidentally or purposely encountered. This collection is not a fixed series but works rather as an ongoing flow of pictures. His book Maroc aout 1971 THE WALDORF ASTORIA ONE WAY ONE WAY The Waldorf Astoria (2015) is a selection of his archive and a way of ordering these images. In this synthesis the images meet each other.

A certain “magical” way of thinking has in the past suggested that photography has done more that impregnating itself of the luminous reflection of objects, that it took with it something of the real world; presences, interiorities, abilities, extra touches of the soul. On the contrary, some have suggested that photography gives something back to reality, that by sharing the appearance of a singular perception of the world, it could take part in the construction of everyone’s perception. But what can take, give back, possess or construct a photography – or even a slide – that has been found ? Reversal film is a particular photographic genre. Photography is not used to reveal its technical origin. An image in the era of its industrial reproduction, it restricts its negative, its matrix, in the dark room’s obscurity of the montage desk, of the development laboratory. Just as cinema, photography only exists in the second state of the photo print on media of diverse quality and format, be it in the form of copies, rushes, or versions.
In turn, the slide imposes the signature aura of its inherent uniqueness. Through its translucent film body framed with cardboard or plastic, it indecently focuses on the naked place of photosensitivity. It discovers the templum which is exclusive, positive, composed and hit at a precise moment and according to a point of view given by the glimmerings of reality. Despite being a magical lantern, the slide doesn’t escape the series logic. Precisely because it is part of the film rolls, we only find it in the form of more or less organized films, on the projector’s carousels for classrooms or living rooms, in the racks of amateur photographers, or in archives.  […] – Thierry Chancogne

Maroc aout 1971 THE WALDORF ASTORIA ONE WAY ONE WAY The Waldorf Astoria is the result of a close collaboration with Théophile Calot and Alexis Jacob, published by Théophile’s Papers (2015).