Imago Ludens – English

By DeYi Studio, Xinchang, June 2018

A poetic and ludic exploration in Xinchang

Photographs by François Trézin ; poems by Cheng Tao

Pink and green mosaic, a turtle on three peaches, silence of Zhang House. We should perceive François Trézin’s photographies as Haïkus. They assimilate in their brevity, allusion and implicitness.

Brieve pictures. Not instantaneous, as any photographer could mechanically do. Not a virtuosic capture of a fleeting glimpse, as any of the best reporters could take. But an aphoristic fulgurance, as any veritable art, relieved from verbiage and commentaries. A brevity who remembers and preserves the unsuspected first sight’s intention. The pictured installation may have been furtive and improvised, as she could have also been premeditated and meticulous. She is consistently modest and discrete. In this new set of photographs realized in Xinchang, the installations of François Trézin are in sympathy with the bystanders and unhabitants, for a brieve complicity, as an amical wink.

Allusive pictures. Not the malicious wink of whom to use discernment, addressing it to those he courts, like to many artists predominantly preoccupied by recognition. But the power of analogical deployment of metaphors. By studying the allusive value peculiar to Chinese poetry, François Jullien quotes one of the most ancient contemplation on poetry, when Confucius tells us that “poetry can be utilized to generate the emotion as much as stimulating the reflection, to develop the community spirit and to correctly express its grievances”. This is the only photography project that weighs, and it is emphatically the one of François Trézin.

Implicit pictures. Not the insider’s complicity, but because the important things should be experienced, futile to spell them out. We should have already experienced the elegance of a color correlation, the humor of objects’ proximity, to capture the talent of François Trézin, who, by a pondered motion, moves a fruit and change the world. Like only children can do. The game is never didactic, what it teaches us about the world is never explicit.

Pictures that plays. The images have not been made to epitomize the real, but to play with it. Undoubtedly for us to be game. In “Homo Ludens”, the great Dutch historian Johan Huizinga shows how the game, free action, perceived as fictive, on the fringe of ordinary life, able to fully absorb the player, devoid of material interest and utility, is source of all social activities and all cultures. He evokes particularly the Haiku, whose the origin would be a form of oratory joust. The photographs of François Trézin play with the everyday life, and here, in Xinchang, his pictures meaningfully joust with Cheng Tao’s poems.

Likewise, Cheng Tao’s poems should be read as images. Firstly, Cheng Tao observes the world. The place he is, he genuinely is. Eyes closed, he sees things as they are. Not as they could be described, narrated or replicated, pictured or published, but as they are, before we actually look at them. In what Cheng Tao tells us, there is something which is always ordinary, and yet always unpredictable. This unpredicted extraordinary of the ordinary, of the formerly existent, strikes us in the outright words of his texts. We won’t find in Cheng Tao’s works, a poem that embellishes, aesthetizes, covers and conceals or sublimes the triviality of the everyday. This is the texture of the everyday, which unveils and discovers the infra-ordinary. In Xinchang, peacefully seating outside, Cheng Tao tells us time to be here, staid passenger of an elusive reality.

Poets have time, game is for children and artists.