OMAGE TO NIEPCE
1. Homage to Niepce
The photograph titled Homage to Niepce is the outcome of an investigationinto my work I undertook some years ago.
I dedicated this first photo to Niepce because the first thing I had to facehas been the film, the sensitive surface, that basic element and key to mywhole work, which is precisely the core around which Niepce's invention developed.
It is a verification which is above all an homage, a token of gratitude, a way of rendering unto Niepce that which is Niepce's. This time the protagonist is the medium, the photosensitive surface which represents nothing but itself.
What we have here is a processed unexposed roll, with the small shape of the film leader which extended outside the cartridge and is exposed to light whether I want it or not.
This is in fact the initial small piece of the film which is always exposed to light when inserting the film inside the camera: it is a mere photographic fact.
Before the photographer does anything, something has already happened. Besides this initial small piece exposed to light, I wanted to preserve the final end too, the one which links the film to its spool. This is a piece never used, which never comes to light and is always thrown away; and yet, it is an essential element, it is the point where a photographic sequence ends.
To emphasize this small piece means to emphasize the moment when you pull the film out of the camera to take it to the laboratory. It means closing.
This is a photographic presence as well, because of the glue attached to it which does not allow the light to pass in that point.
I could also say that this homage to Niepce represents 36 opportunities lost, or rather, 36 opportunities refused, in an age where, as Robert Frank writes talking about photojournalism, the air has been tainted by the smell of photography.