From Michel Campeau’s series Darkroom, 2005-2006.
“In the spirit of this heading paraphrasing a fundamental text of photographic modernity by the well known German philosopher Walter Benjamin (1), I am working on creating a monography of images articulated around the decline of silver-gelatin photography, taking as my object the obsolescence of the darkroom.
As an agent in and witness of a pivotal moment in the history of art and technologies, squeezed between the dual procedures of analogical and digital recording, I find the utmost importance to invest the iconicity of the darkroom with the connotations of ruin and post-industrial debris.
Closely echoing the notion of bereavement that is the basis of my creative acts, I observe reality as would an accident expert, investigating the strangeness of clues found at the “scene of the crime” where inactinic lighting and suspended time veil the imprint of the premises.
My investigation, iconoclastic and sacrilegious, scrutinizes the “surrealizing” incongruity of darkrooms and throws the spotlight on the bric-à-brac of plumbing and electricity, the ventilation-system engines, the posted iconography, the weirdness of “planets” envisioned at the bottom of chemical trays, the splattering of silver salts, the wear of equipment and the countdown of timers that defies the disappearance of the panchromatic spectre.
Atypical and constantly being reinvented, my works responds to my own states of urgency. Leading into this arm-to-arm combat with the physicality of place and the chromaticism of pixels and pigmented inks, the collapse of and the distantiation with a whole phase of my work, I am experimenting with what remains of imagination and memory, with the point where object and subject merge. This arises as much from an ethic I expressly aim for as from the inevitable duress of bequeathed by my private existence.”