Benjamin Perron

La lumière ne fait pas de bruit

Sténopés et photogrammes, 2020

This project is a quest which seeks to return to the fundaments of photographic practice. In this sense, the connection to nature and its elements – water, earth, trees, rocks, sun – is central to my work and is manifested in both the photographs’ subjects and their aesthetic.

Adopting an experimental approach, I revisit lens-free processes: the pinhole and photograms in which light-sensitive paper serves as a negative. Long exposures ranging from a few hours to several months, whether done with rudimentary cameras made out of aluminum cans or by making photograms in broad daylight, make it possible to print the image directly onto the paper without darkroom development being necessary. Time, a crucial variable in photography, is extended to extreme lengths, thereby contrasting with the rapidity of photography today and reminding us of the simplicity of the photographic process.

Constructing the cameras, choosing where to place them or where things will be placed on the paper, and the length of exposure are stages which question our relations with time and places.

The images arising out of this work are then treated digitally and printed in large format in order to show the passage of time on the paper: visible trajectories of the sun; blurry impressions of landscapes; degradation of the paper; etc. These qualities combined give the image a material quality and textures which lead viewers to think about the creative process.