If “Art is what accounts for life, and life, or what gives it meaning, is found everywhere”, as Alfred Stieglitz said, then the pictures of Jessica Lange are fragments, murmurs, with no other aspiration than to make that movement, its curvature, its texture and its musicality visible. That movement is, above all, a continuity, a continuity punctuated by instants, a narration, a story, a story under way, a story just about to be told, a sequence, a silence and those words that are not pronounced.
Somewhere in Mexico, whatever the longitude and latitude, month or year, is where Jessica Lange draws and demarcates the spaces, the scenes, often theatres of the ordinary, where she appears “almost always with no certain objective, with nothing more decisive than the obscure fact that it is there where it will happen” (1).
Her wanderings everywhere and nowhere, when nothing is obvious anymore, guide with indolence her thoughts and look, with no other intention than to be in the world rather than in front of it. Alone.
She avoids the others, first led by the desire of solitude as a sine qua non condition, but also separating herself from him. Those looks that are not exchanged, broken by a mirror, hidden behind a sheet of rain, enveloped by the density of the night, become a sort of abandonment, first of herself and then of the others.
Jessica Lange does not remain in the shadow or in the invisible, but in the unseen. There she is, discreet, delicate. Contemplating. Humble, she hardly touches the world with a faint blind contraction; a fraction of a second, just when space, time and light close around themselves.
And if time in Mexico is an ancestral moment which disturbs or disrupts nothing, dictated by the cycle of light, she accompanies it, with the rhythm of her steps, with the rhythm of aModerato Cantabile barely hummed or murmured, inaudible. Wandering or roaming does not mean suspending or fragmenting time, but avoiding it.
Time stretches, it expands, it sprawls out with all its body. It’s display, it’s undulation, it’s also slowness, contemplation. It’s who keeps images in mind.
Mexico comes to life at twilight, in the half light, in that lapse of time when reality, levelled out under a dazzling bright light, almost burnt in its whiteness, gets its breath back, exultant. Anthracite grey shadows appear under shapes of growing volume towards the deepest blackness.
Lovers meet in front of the Church of Santo Domingo, the dances in the Zócalo square swirl endlessly to the sound of trumpets and tabors.
The circus announces its parades.
It’s night time, bodies unite, they throw themselves at each other, become entangled or abandon themselves like choreographies led by an invisible hand. She’s the one who orchestrates them.Through her movements, she invokes coincidence and the image appears.
Jessica Lange reveals what escapes, outlines the imperceptible and brings the light of the shadows to the surface of the night, like a painter does with the shapes of his model.
The depth of the blacks, the whites that crack like a whip in the air, the voluptuous, sensual, floating materials, the smell of nightfall, the commotion of popular music. The image is invaded with black, the grain explodes and the lines fade. The screen’s fabric tightens.
These unexpected sequences are a stroll through Jessica Lange’s diary of impressions.
Image and text courtesy of diChroma Photography.
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