It is not possible to show absence of men. The act of taking a photograph is a human action, and that who gazes at the photograph is destined to think of a man or a woman, if not because of its subject, at least because of its author.
Also, photographing absence doesn’t work. All attempts risk being void of all meaning. Much to the contrary, to capture an absence is to acknowledge the (wished or unwished) presence, at least of those who look at the photograph and who instantly imagine the absentee.
An empty room will probably produce, by those who gaze, a search for the absent man or woman. The search will be made possible through the attentive analysis of the objects in the room, of colors of the walls, of the taste of the furniture.
To avoid the presence is only to reveal and highlight what is missing.
When I look at a beautiful photograph of a mountain I think that what I am looking at is inserted into a much broader environment. A city or a village must not be too far away from the mountain, there surely is someone skiing on its paths, climbing its walls. Is there a tunnel, a road, a passage nearby?
I’ve been looking at some of my photographs from the past and I have realized that I am moved by – literally, in that I function and work through – this contradiction. Although presence has been a topic in the past, I began exploring this more openly only very recently.