Jacques Garnier’s works are carefully composed, sparse images in which he strips away the superfluous surroundings of architectural structures, creating totally new spaces. To some, the new images evoke a feeling of abandonment. In the last several years, he has focused more closely on the details of the structures that he records, dissecting them into distinct and independent parts of the original. His first foray with this project was A Deconstructed Odyssey, from 2018.
In Hymns to the Silence, the high contrast, black and white photographs are meticulously detailed images of parts of architectural structures in Southern California. By finely focusing on the details, and with an eye to graphic composition and the use of negative space, he has created new images for the viewer to contemplate. The negative space is Ma, a Japanese word meaning “gap,” “space,” or “pause.” In a work of art Ma exists as an emptiness yet to be filled, a silence “between the notes which make the music.” The negative spaces in these new works are indeed a hymn to the silence. Some of the images are so removed from their origins that a key to the location of the buildings is provided as an index at the back of the book that accompanies the exhibition. Several works in the show received an honorable mention for Jacques at the WorldWide Photography Gala Awards in October 2020.
Curated by Janet Blake, Hymns to the Silence will be on view at Laguna Art Museum from February 28 to January 16, 2022. It is accompanied by a book with essays by Douglas McCulloh, Marrie Stone, and Clayton Spada. There are thirty-three works in the book and twenty-five works in the exhibition. Underwriting for the exhibition has been provided by Pam Banks and Diane and Igal Silber.
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