|Notes on ECHOES OF MEMORY
Gérard Lange has always been fascinated by Goya's elephant etch. "He had obviously never seen a photograph of one, so what he drew was based on stories, rumor, other people's sketches -- it's a fantastical elephant." In the age of Google, we are no longer afforded the luxury of relying on our imaginations, but Lange's photographs recall a time when people were forced to fill in the blanks, as it were. The soft focus, black-and-white, and shallow depth of field in these images, as well as the hand-built cameras Lange works with, remove key information, blur lines, fade out distractions, so it is the viewer who completes the image. "It is meant to create nostalgia -- a personal relationship with the photograph," Lange says.
Though you may never have seen a dogwood or walked across that piazza in Italy, the images feel almost familiar and pre-aged, as if they were someone else's memory of a place you once visited together. "I wanted to create documents of the future memory of the moment," Lange explains -- not a photograph that records exactly how something looked at the time, but rather an impression of how it might eventually be recalled. The images evoke dissonance, of a place or object half-remembered and yet brand new. In Lange's work, documentary photography turns into something like dé jà vu.