Denis Darzacq

Texte de François Cheval pour le catalogue de l’exposition “Prey for the shadows”. Musée de Lianzhou en Chine, 2019.

Between photography and abstraction, we can’t tell which one distrusts the others. Photography thinks it represents reality in the raw while abstraction project itself beyond the real. This false opposition was proven to be wrong by the avant-garde movement of the thirties. The big “film und foto” exhibition that took place in Stuttgart in 1929 inaugurated a form of photography that was free of naturalism. The only option open to the “new photographer” with this innovative medium was experimentation. The world was no longer represented through an inventory, but through perception.

Denis Darzacq’s work in in line with this tradition in the way he takes everyday materials of no great importance and brings them together to create emotional, ageless objects with multiple references. Photography inject life, fueled by its energy. The initial appropriation of elements from everyday life is based on chance. The nothing becomes the object-object, a graphic reappraisal of an ephemeral construction as the only reality turns out to be photographic. This way of making a remarkable object from nothing is a constant in the work of Denis Darzacq. The innocuous becomes a work of art, thanks not to a simple decision, but to the material’s intrinsic qualities. In his “choreographed” videos, it is essential not to establish a scale by which “professional dancers” are compared to “amateur dancers”. While what the amateurs present is nothing exceptional, they do retain an essence of simple humanity that the professionals often tend to leave behind. In a situation where it is impossible to tell improvisation from work, they open up to one another to affirm a powerful collective presence that plays ironically with the science of gravity. We cannot suspect Denis Darzacq of formalism, his work is on the contrary, the very expression of the living; accomplished forms shot through with a rare creative power.