As a follow-up to our desire to exchange with the galleries of our international photo art fair, we wanted to initiate a collection of testimonials and impressions from the photographers represented on PhotoMonaco, asking them to respond to the question: « Why do you photograph? » In order to be published on our blog, these diverse and varied answers will be the beginning of a small contemporary anthology of the practice among all these artists of the light. At our invitation, here are the personal reflections of all the photographers involved who have agreed to play this roundup in the form of a question mark, with a small, medium or long text from their signature!

Dominique Jaussein (born February 17, 1954)

Galerie Darkroom (Nice)

The taste of photography has always been in me, but I have seen my journey through time gradually developing my pictorial vocabulary. My expectations, my images, my looks, have become different. For me, to photograph is to capture the light reflected by beings, places, objects, to create a visible trace, both mysterious and familiar. An image … in short. Often an image already seen, which facilitates its recognition, its membership – portrait, landscape, etc.- and therefore its success, while in each image I look for the unique, the surprising so that it is called « a new image ». In our world, which has become a vast « pictures store », we are all seeing, every day, new images that no longer exist and will never be repeated. This temptation to seize them is inherent to the desire of the photographer who brings back a piece of real when his image gives to see a « that was ». The photography is revealing. To grasp reality, to appropriate it, is our wish. Yet the photographer I am hoping to show much more than an image. These are the ambiguous relations between art and reality. Susan Sontag wrote: « In any case, images can now reverse roles in the face of reality: they change it into shadow. And to the extent that they represent an unlimited resource, that the waste of consumption can not be exhausted, it is all the more necessary to apply to them the remedy of moderation. » The photographer obviously imposes his subjectivity in his works. But can a photograph reveal something other than reality? For me the answer is yes, because the setting in images illuminates, reframes, manipulates, reduces or enlarges the subject to give it life and make it express itself. This is called the readability of the image. The image reader must, for its part, be able to soak up the creation and the emotion that communicates the presented photograph. Make him think and wonder, take a closer look to hear the secret rumors and his senses wake up, that’s our search. « Is not it worse than illiterate, the photographer who does not know how to read his own images », wrote Walter Benjamin in 1931. I would add, is he not worse than the photographer who does not get emotion to the image reader. It’s up to us to be on standby for new images and let’s discover this art, which marries and suspends the course of time simultaneously!

Dominique Jaussein, 

Nice, March 2018.