PRAISE OF THE DARK :
Of all that my job leads me to try to master, artificial light has always been what I dread the most.
So much so that in the early 80s, I almost only lit myself with candles! A way around the problem
not really applicable everywhere. And even though I write in “Praise of the Dark” …
The discovery of “In Praise of Shadows” (Junichirô Tanizaki 1933), in the 1980s, was a huge relief for me. Finally I could put words to the value of shade and shadow.
For they are absent from our aesthetic education. We are taught how to render shade, but only to emphasize volume.
Exactly in the same way as, in our cultures, we only perceive the full and completely conceal the empty.
Fear of the vacuum is the expression of an existential fear that is evident in many interiors, and although certainly at its height in other times,
it remains very present today (strengthened by unrestrained consumption).
The shadow, the emptiness and silence can all be placed in the cabinet of curiosities.
(excerpt from Agnès Emery by Agnès Emery, booklet 4)
Alas the exquisit Japanese book offered me no recipe to use in my work.
However, in the same way as color, artificial light has the formidable power of recomposing a space, which clearly indicates
his importance. The goal does not seem to me to be looking for a copy of the light of day, because the night has its identity
and we need the succession of day and night for our balance. The night, the darkness, and its procession of fears
… and transgressions!
In the fall, when our days are little by little eaten up by our nights and the light dims, a moment of sadness sets in
or worry. We know however that the light will return, but the fear of the dark is there,
coming from very buried times in our history.
It’s time to think about the other light, the artificial one, the one that saves us from the great darkness. return in the evening,
and quickly, turn on a soft light is a healthy gesture. The halo of the lamp defines a refuge-space that night does not invade.
It redefines spaces, it tells another way of living them.
But do not expect a flood of light from me, for I intend to leave to shade and even to darkness
the place they deserve.