Solitude Standing


Introduction - Photos


A child stands without a care, gazing dreamily far beyond the subdued waters of a languid sea out over the horizon, contemplating the promises of another, far-off place. The viewer imagines her eyes alight with thoughts of travel, her spirit lulled by the unfathomable murmuring of the tide as it skims over the surface of the sand.

She is lost in the middle of nowhere, and seems to calmly breathe in the silence of a rediscovered tranquillity, taking root forever in the dense fragility of the water-soaked earth.

The human presence soon disappears from this mute dialogue with the elements, leaving the photographic setting to the never-ending score of a melody that sings of the earth’s changing moods, the insistent beating or placid lapping of the waves and the fluctuating skies darkened by the vagaries of the weather.

Now deprived of any human presence these deceptively repetitive photos, taken at different times from the same spot and framed in exactly the same way, provide a never-ending series of variations on the eternal solitude of being.

In Edouard Janssens’ Solitude Standing series, shot on the shores of the North Sea, the photographic impressions in black and white become one with the nature that inspired them. The physical entities, real or suggested, echo one another: the texture of the film dissolves into the grainy substance of sand as the elements of the seascape summon the memory of the printed material the better to claim ownership of it.