To remain still is to die
So, here are the consequences of a few nightly undertaken urban wanderings. At driver’s height, like those guys at the wheel of their cars who wander the streets, fixating sidewalks in search of who knows what, trouble maybe, perhaps a score to invent in order to better settle later. For a better view of these ground floors also, where those who endure the tragedy of large cities hide as best they can : anonymity and refuge are impossible on these lower floors, among so many would-be voyeurs. All the more screens that stubbornly refuse transparency, to offer only an uncertain shadow theater. It therefore took poor images to evoke such paucity of the visible. Those who know Hubert Marot know his propensity to toil at the print, to experiment and start over, to come close to a form of material accomplishment before which photography has always shown itself to be a little shy: a paper image, worthless because bank of all values, « flat » as has been said, which can just as well end up in origami or in pieces. But whilst the conventional currency (the image itself) crashes in value, the price of the frame goes up, as a compensation. Hubert Marot works to prepare each frame as one would prepare the bodywork on a vehicle, using the same means and processes: sanding, painting, polishing, and repeating until the exclusion of any vestige of craftsmanship, until the appearance of an irreproachable, absolute luster. It’s a question of industrial banality and the doors it always attempts to open to the mirage of perfection : usually it’s cheap junk and common things that concentrate the most glitter and complacent reflections. Remarkably, industry invents the unique to deliver it en masse, like those patented toxic colors, which only belong to one manufacturer; whereas photography invents the critical mass that always makes it possible to create the unique – chips of time which allow themselves to be captured only once. The insignificance of a smartphone photograph, a confirmed mark of contemporary numbness, is awakened by the pageantry of a labor so hard and precise that it is usually reserved for the powerful means of industry. In short, it’s all about displacement, because falling asleep in the comfort of worn conventions and tattered categories is always risky: to remain still is to die.