View Full Version : New Divergences

Nicolas Genette
December 28th, 2009, 09:41 AM
I am taking the extraordinary step of copying from your website your introduction. I hope this helps folk relate to you photography here. My kind wishes, Asher
"Sometimes there are moments in life when we no longer know whether we want to live or to die. Live when the will to do so isn’t there anymore? Or die, and lose – however small the risk – something yet to come that would make life worth living? If we’re still capable of thinking, there's only one solution, and that is to live!

By dying we remove any possibility of choice, while by living we retain the element of choice, the power to put off dying until an even more awful tomorrow. For all that, to live without wanting to is not…livable. In a survival reflex, brain and body then agree to maintain activity, and try to fill the emptiness.

No longer interested by the world around us, we find ourselves fascinated by the small things few people notice, trying to find we don’t know what, for as long as the sparl to live is maintained. Every single spark is picked up, scrutinised, studied, felt, and lived! But once each spark has been absorbed, the way forward dissipates into an emptiness requiring constant feeding. Nothing is too complex not to be tackled. From quantum mechanics to the profoundest subjectivism, spark upon spark, every tiny dose of life will little by little fan the flame, so that in time the memory of a path followed simply to have choice fades...

We then become aware that the most beautiful thing given us to live is life itself, this great mystery, at the dawn of art and science. To no longer feel even a tiny spark of this gigantic unknown, of this whole, is not choice, it's death!"
Nine new photographies in Divergence collection. The square format invites himself in this collection, for the last photographs of the year !

http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence/2009/Seizieme.jpg (http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence_us.php)

http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence/2009/Quinzieme.jpg (http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence_us.php)

http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence/2009/Dix-huitieme.jpg (http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence_us.php)

http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence/2009/Douzieme.jpg (http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence_us.php)

Others five : http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence_us.php

Happy end of the year !!

Asher Kelman
December 29th, 2009, 12:23 AM
Hi Nicolas,

Each of your unnamed pictures strikes me immediately as interesting. Certainly enough that I would stop in a gallery to look. The composition and the black and white tones are uniquely fashioned. One can stare at them and then use the shapes as vehicles or spaces, instruments perhaps by which one exercises one's imagination. That to me is an agreeable experience. however, your introduction on your website, suggest something much more important than a merely entertaining session with your creations. Your writing implies that you have put into each picture, for you, or people that relate to your way of thinking, something more critical to holding on to life. That part I don't get at all!

I am very interested to be able to relate to you photographs. They are unusual. You have posted them without introduction and I have been puzzled as to how to approach them. I see from your website that you have a self-referential and poetic prelude to your pictures.

I myself cannot identify with statements such as "Sometimes there are moments in life when we no longer know whether we want to live or to die" since I have always had hope and can no more relate to jumping at Bambi's neck and ripping it open. (That's the particular job of the lion!)

So getting back to your pictures, I must admit that iIm a beginner and am not verse in the esthetics of such abstract work. I need to spend more time, and I will. I tried to put white space around your photographs so perhaps they would stand reading and being enjoyed better. But without titles and some code or guidance, I'm at the moment a little lost. Maybe that's just what the intent is. In any case, if you might have the energy and disposition to take one picture and describe how it works, that would be a kindness. However, it's neither required nor necessary! You have the perfect right to just put your pictures out. It may be that I just need to catch up. However, I am intrigued to know what's going on.

@ Ken and anyone else in the know. If I'm missing some obvious forebears and links I should know about, please update me!


Asher Kelman
December 29th, 2009, 12:43 AM
I'm trying to understand the philosophical thread holding this work together. There's the idea of sparks of life and then a flame. However you come up with this:

"every tiny dose of life will little by little fan the flame, so that in time the memory of a path followed simply to have choice fades... "

There is no purpose then, but to have choice and your choice is to live or die? So after all the sparks of life and this flame is fanned, there's no lighting the way. There are no valuable moments since there are no memories, otherwise, the memories would by themselves mark the path followed!

Still, if your feeling of a struggle to retain choice (to live by finding sparks of life that in the end don't amount to anything sustaining life's journey), then I'm interested in seeing just how your pictures have this or a related concept?

Or, perhaps, you have made interesting photographs and you have also made a separate but unrelated "statement". So, the sets of pictures and the writing are really just two independent works of expression delivered at the same time, but not thematically related!

Remember, I'm British and not French, so there may be a Jean-Paul Satre or other existential reasoning, (in which I'm less fluent) that contributes to my gap in understanding. So forgive this lapse.

When there's something I don't understand, I treat it with respect and make some attempt to see what is there that might be of value to experience in the way that the artist intends. This is the sole reason I am writing!


Nicolas Genette
December 29th, 2009, 01:14 AM
Hi Asher, and thanks for so much interest.

First, I don't specially want to tell more about the 'how to' of these photographies. What you see is just nothing, or just light, through some medium.
This is related to the text yes. The text is what I have seen life when I was 9 years old, I won't say why but it was some really hard years, discovering how life can be cruel.

About this sentence :
"every tiny dose of life will little by little fan the flame, so that in time the memory of a path followed simply to have choice fades... "

that's not the flame that fades !! This is the opposite, the flame, the one of the life, make the choice fading. It reconstruct the life so you forget you did this choice, and you come back in the adventure of life. I asked someone to make these traductions as my english isn't so great, but maybe there's some missleading ?
Maybe it would be more :
"every tiny dose of life will little by little flesh out the flame, so that in time the memory of a path followed simply to have choice fades... "

So, texts and photos are related. The idea is seeing some sparks in nothing (sorry, no how-to on photographies lol), and these sparks show you something, make you understanding things at a higher level, make you asking yourself some questions, that make you alive.

It's just what happened to me : total reset. nothing. the life was nothing. I had to rebuild it, and so young, that's not an easy task. But small sparks after small sparks, I had a flame, and now I don't put myself the choice of live/die anymore, because I've rebuild this flame.
Just like these photos, taken from nothing, showing some sparks, making you thinking, living.

I don't talk, here or anywhere, of what caused me this 'passage', because I don't want any pity. And there's allways more unfortune elsewhere so that's not my way to mope myself.

Hope having clarify a few bit, even if clarity is not something really looked at here.

Asher Kelman
December 29th, 2009, 01:27 AM
Hope having clarify a few bit, even if clarity is not something really looked at here.


Thanks so much for not being offended by my questions. I felt that, at least I should be honest and address my own lack of understanding where to put my feet when I look at your work. I do not look for clarity. That part of art is for postcards. Where there's nothing to consider, we just have mere documentation or just more splendid things that will likely bore us.

You explanations are generous and appreciated. I'll now rewind the movie and start again with your photographs. I'm also gratified that your journey is indeed well illuminated now. That the path you came from has been obliterated, in part at least, is our way of self-healing. The body has mechanism for removing the physical and the mental remnants of wounds we suffer, grace a dieux!


charlotte thompson
December 29th, 2009, 09:04 AM

This is such a beautiful and very interesting series

"the abstract thoughts of life" as each meaning and life journey relates the same to all of us actually-
from dark to light and from light to dark again
for without each we have no life" no creation" each has its own energy"
I do believe that we come into light for seconds and then go back to dark and then the whole process begins again over and over-therefore creates thought/energy/creation
your art in this thread shows us "light and dark" truly the dance of breathing
which to me is the art of living"
muchly enjoyed- very interesting photography!


Nicolas Genette
December 29th, 2009, 02:17 PM
Many thanks Charlotte, seems you get a good feeling and nice interpretation of my thoughts. But the light must win ! ;-) And anyway, abstraction is also to everyone their vision.
Here are the first of the same collection : http://www.nicolasgenette.com/photos/Divergence_p1_us.php

Nice discussions there, thanks both forcing me puting some words on these. I also modified the sentence you noticed, Asher.

John Angulat
December 29th, 2009, 04:06 PM

Thank you for sharing these wonderful creations.
I'm disappointed I do not have larger printed representations!
I'd very much like to be standing before them, arms folded and completely immersed in absorbing their impact on my visual sense.
Extraordinarily well done!

charlotte thompson
December 30th, 2009, 11:16 AM

Oh I loved the link that you sent! Interesting still more again-
lovely interpetation of light and dark as it seems to be creating itself!

I especially like these from the link


splendid work
you are very talented-I hope you stay with us because I for one would love to study more of your work
thank you for these