Born in Normandy, France, Jean-Christophe Godet is the founder and artistic director of the Guernsey Photography Festival, created in 2010. The Guernsey Photography Festival brings together major names in international photography with a host of emerging talent, for a packed month of exhibitions, projections, talks, educational workshops and community events on the island. The festival is now firmly established as one of the most important and successful cultural events in Guernsey and has positioned itself amongst the best festivals of photography in Europe.
(Photo: © Peter Franklin/Guernsey Press)
'Orderly Chaos' is perhaps a reflection on our own existence. It is this insatiable desire that drives us constantly to questioning and searching for meanings without necessarily finding answers. The endless attempt to find a purpose and a cohesion in a world of disarray and confusion.
This small collection reveals many different forms of instability.
There is Karina-Sirkku Kurz’s character who is dealing with an eating disorder, hiding this from view by wrapping it within a pile of clothes. There is also a stitched photograph of a child by Gisoo Kim who seems to appear like a glitch in our vision of normality. The exploration can dive deep into something more disturbing. Klaus Elle’s experiment with long exposure photographs shot in his cave seems to be a journey of self-discovery through fear and anguish.
The turmoil is not only mental and physical but also environmental, geographical and spatial.
Bertram Kober provides wounded landscapes ravaged by human overexploitation of natural resources while Achim Mohné’s, Sabine Schründer and Axel Bayer’s technology generated images challenge our perception of reality and aesthetic and for some reinforce the notions of absence, abandon and emptiness.
Some artists find their inspiration in our chaotic everyday life such as Torsten Schumann, Wolfgang Zurborn and even Claus Bach with his photography performance “Planking”. Behind a playful, almost instinctive use of the medium lie intelligent critical observations, revealing a complicated world full of contradictions. A world that can appear artificial, ridiculous, confusing while still beautiful and humorous.
Locked in this existential crisis, escapism could appear as an alternative solution for some, with a risk of losing yourself further in the process. Birte Kaufmann’s strong portrait of a young Irish Traveller, looking absent and completely detached from reality, echoes Andreas Weinand portraying rebel teenagers trying to find their own truth with drugs and alcohol.
While writing this text I discovered that Buddhism (I am not a buddhist by the way) recognises existence as orderly chaos. “Through meditative practices associated with the mandala principle, the opposites of experience—confusion and enlightenment, chaos and order, pain and pleasure— are revealed as inseparable parts of a total vision of reality. (1)
We may not know what the answers are, but may be, as Florian Becker’s image of three individuals contemplating an empty black sky seems to suggest:our ongoing search for making sense of our existence might be just a way to find courage in facing nothingness one day.
Jean-Christophe GODET, 16 February 2021
(1) Extract from Orderly Chaos The Mandala Principle by Chogyam Trungpa'
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