Denis Darzacq

24th August 2019

… research the freeze-frame photographs of Denis Darzacq at http://www.denis-darzacq.com

OCA Foundations in photography Coursework Folder pg 55

The following five shots are taken from the website www.denis-darzacq.com and are part of the series ‘Hyper’ 2007-2009.

Hyper No. 8

I can say that Darzacq work definitely needed careful planning, and exact timing and shutter speed control to achieve such eye-catching shots. He freezes the human body within different locations in mid air. I like the fact that I look at his photographs as individual images and observe how the body is formed, to see where it is travelling from and where it is going to. These journeys are interesting, they are frozen in time, a split second, with amazing body shapes and the questions, ‘Are they floating or falling?’ Why? What is the concept?

I have chosen ‘Hyper’ 2007-2009 above and ‘Act 2’ 2015 because of their differences and likeness.

07 Mickael Lafon

Similarities:

  • Frozen body images
  • No blur
  • Each series shot in just the one location.
  • Each series has an important theme message.

Differences:

  • Different location
  • Different theme
  • Body forms and language are different.
  • Due to locations the colours differ.

The hypermarket shots are uniformed, colourful, and often serene even peaceful in nature. They are unformed because the setting is always within the hypermarket, with its powerful lines and colours. The various items for sale in the background become colour and shapes, in fact my eyes are drawn to the body first, then the colour of the items and lines of the shelving systems and fridges. It is not until the composition has been taken in and observed that I then wonder off to see what the items are, the objects for sale. The following website has written a very good article on ‘Hyper,’ lensculture.com.

The bodies within ‘Hyper’ are floating, falling or moving across the picture plane opposed to the body forms in ‘Act 2’ which look uncomfortable, disjointed and as though they belong in a horror film. ‘Act 2’ also has a much different background, dull, dirty and uninviting. The contrast in the two series could not be so different – colour, clear, crisp, mathematical lines and shapes, uniformed, floating, falling, ‘v’ bleak, cluttered, dirty, bland, cluttered, disjointed, uncomfortable and the unrealistic. In fact ‘Act 2’ gives me a sense of unease.

I then read a synopsis from the website operadeparis.fr, about ‘Act 2’, which can be viewed below:

The photographer Denis Darzacq likes to capture ephemeral moments, like in his series “La Chute” (“The Fall”, 2005-2006), which shows bodies hovering just above the floor. For him, the Paris Opera’s proposal to work with dancers who are among the best in the world was a “marvellous gift”. 
He has used it to explore a subject which is close to his heart : the dialogue between worlds that ignore each other and that seem antagonistic, the paradoxes that only appear as such. Since he believes that “whoever you are, you always have something to learn from others”, Denis Darzacq asked the Opera dancers to improvise movements which are inspired by photos of handicapped people from his “Act” series (2008-2011) in the streets of Paris. 
By reinterpreting these gestures of unusual grace and exploring this unknown language in order to compose original phrases, the Paris Opera dancers use their bodies like musical instruments interpreting original pieces.

operadeparis.fr

This synopsis tells us that the photographs mimic the awkwardness of those moving with disabilities. Having worked with such people I actually find the concept puzzling, did Darzacq want to give the message that these awkward often painful movements make the people look like they are from horror films, looking for their next victims on the streets? Why didn’t he shoot them in another location which shows how these movements stop them from using specific objects and visiting certain places which we would take for granted? They would still have looked uncomfortable and shocking. I am thinking that the concept isn’t about the movements of the disabled but he is trying to capture the shapes. Therefore the images are not speaking out about the disabled at all and I should approach viewing them as I did before I knew where he got the body form idea from for ‘Act2.’


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