Artefacts I

ARTEFACT (ˈⱭːTꞮˌFÆKT) OR ARTIFACT
N
1.SOMETHING MADE OR GIVEN SHAPE BY MAN, SUCH AS A TOOL OR A WORK OF ART, ESP AN OBJECT OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTEREST
2.ANYTHING MAN-MADE, SUCH AS A SPURIOUS EXPERIMENTAL RESULT
3.(BIOLOGY) CYTOLOGY A STRUCTURE SEEN IN TISSUE AFTER DEATH, FIXATION, STAINING, ETC, THAT IS NOT NORMALLY PRESENT IN THE LIVING TISSUE

The sprawling Irving Penn exhibit I saw in Stockholm lives with me still. Namely his simple yet effective skull images: just a few monochromes on a white background. Nothing fancy, no tricks...just the purity of a subject without artifice. Anytime I get mired in complexity, someone or something throws reality back at me—and I remember we don’t need sixteen lights or a huge Hollywood production. We just need the desire to see.

My dad traveled the world on a freighter ship in his youth, back when a boy could escape without so much as a backward glance. From the Arctic circle he brought back a hunter figurine; from Africa, a couple of strange acrobats. Much later, while on a business trip somewhere in Canada, he bought me a necklace carved in caribou teeth. All of these sparked my imagination—the concept of political correctness still lost to a much distant future.

Then there’s the other necklace I found in my mom’s jewelry box one day, the one I wore on stage for years; the creepy baby teeth hidden away, slowly dissolving in the drip of decades. I wanted to see these artefacts again, to record them like Penn’s skulls.
Without makeup.
Without ruse.


Shot with the GFX 50S and GF 120mm f4 LM OIS R WR (Acros film simulation)


Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada