A Gull between Day and Night
On the Photographs of Alexander Jaquemet
The view leads into deep darkness and giving us our sight. Alexander Jaquemet loves paradoxes of this kind. He shows us a sea gull, photographed as day turned to night. Everything appears to sink into the depth of the space. Even the bird’s contours blur. Only a delicate light gives us a hint of time pas-sing in the progression of colors. What remains is a subtle luster projecting into this life and picking us up on our way into the spheres of the imaginary.
The photograph appears as a drawing of light, revealing to us at the same time its enigmatic nature that speaks out from the gloom. We follow the gaze of the bird into nothingness and are thrown back onto ourselves in the process. We observe ourselves in the act of seeing while simultaneously plum-bing the various dimensions of the picture. The sea gull thereby becomes our companion as we enter the art of Alexander Jaquemet. The picture shows in concentrated form this photographer’s unique pictorial language and the poetic power of his work. Light plays a pivotal role time and again in Alexander Jaquemet’s art.
We observe him playing with the subtle border between the visible and the invisible. Time and again he takes us into the depths but at the same time gives us something that catches the downward fall. In the best tradition of Romanticism, he works with motifs of subtle alienation: They include the gloss of the plumage, which renders the bird tangible even though it is withdrawing. They include the mist, which renders the sky earthly. They include the symbolic nature of the branches in the underbrush, which exhibit order in randomness. And when the sky over the moors appears in the still water, it becomes clear that images always look back at us when we view them.
The photographs of Alexander Jaquemet leave both options open: Perception is linked to deep reflection. This is how his pictures touch our senses while at the same time leading us into the realm of imagination. The sea gull can work as a harbinger here. It shows us how complex pictorial realities arise from the simplicity of motifs that outlast the moment.
Lic. phil. Stephan Kunz Co-Director Bündner Art Museum