Human language is made of words and images.
The images give rise to words, which in turn create images.
It is a game that enthralls us, beckoning us to examine
it. If we allow ourselves to be carried along by it, we end
up creating narratives in the images as well as in their
associations – unfinished narratives, not yet completely
developed. The associations among images suggest stories,
they are wordless commentaries.They are there, before us,
like stories just waiting for someone to tell them.
This is what Clovis Ferreira França’s photos do, this
is the game they propose to us.They give us clues
of mistaken understandings – we illude ourselves with
false understandings, and are thus led to a territory of
enchantments, in which subtleties become more apparent
and fragile things are ennobled and celebrated. In the pages
of this book, the images and the game created by
the associations among them situate us between the seen
thing and the interpretation, the thing imagined. What
is represented in the photographer’s work are artifices
that capture our gaze and turn it into a happening.
The artist’s images frame a space, they are presented as
a sort of stage, a place for the representation to happen.
With them, we began to ask ourselves about our own
position as beings that look, and as a consequence of
this experience, the gaze itself is posed as a theme.
When we reflect on what contemplation is, we can
become aware that we are given to sensations that are not
exactly in the present – we ceaselessly withdraw to a past
or an indefinite future.This wandering of meaning is the
game of art.
The things, people and objects shown, when seen through
a poetic, lyrical gaze, remain isolated in a spatiotemporal indetermination.They remain in the realm of fascination,
filtered by our sensibility, celebrating memories.
In light of the sensations evoked by the present photographs
I recall the words of a character, a painter in Marcel Proust’s
In Search of Lost Time: “Elstir was unable to look at a flower
without first transplanting it to that inner garden in which
we are obliged always to remain.”
Fortunately, speaking is not seeing, and seeing implies
a lack of time for speech.We should let ourselves be carried
away by the qualities that surprise us, we should yield to
the contemplation of these photos, taking pauses to
better enjoy them.