Blow Up Press, 2022. Edition of 1100 copies. Softcover, 160 pp., 65 b/w illustrations, 9 drawings, 226 x 300 mm. Photographs by Damien Daufresne. Text by Marie Belorgey (English / French). Design by Damien Daufresne, Aneta Kowalczyk.
“Probably one of the best books seen in the last twenty five years. An object in which photography and painting are intertwined, perfectly created by an artist able to say ’I’ with a universal voice. A unique way of building a floating world, at the limits of representation, to let emotions mix, between intimate history and dreams, body and nature, tenderness and uncertainty.” Christian Caujolle
"I learn that the world goes round; so I am waiting here for my house to pass by". Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry
We are our own universes. Each of us. Life is a journey through an immeasurable collection of such universes. How this journey will go, where it will take us, is not only up to us. Hence our being lost, waiting for a helping hand or a happy coincidence. Hence our projections of the future, but also memories of the past. Everything comes back. Panta rhei. But somewhere on this trail, each of us finds this one and only place that is home. Home not in a sense of the material four walls, but such constellations of different universes that together make up this space that can be called that. And this is the most beautiful part of it. In his newest book, Damien Daufresne unveils the secret of one such universe - Undertow.
As Marie Belorgey writes in her essay: “The pictures open and fold back on themselves by turns. They renew their sound, their weight, unfold their depth, or don’t, depending on the moment. The skins’ grain answers the photographic material’s, alternately expanding and tightening like starlings in flight, unravelling the metamorphoses of a same, luminous momentum, a flesh shared by beings and places, manifested following different degrees of density, permeability, transparency. And here and there the film, scratched, smeared with salt, studded with fingerprints, meets with the texture of a world we can feel is loved in all its forms, embraced according to the paradoxes it vibrates with.
It’s about beginnings, perhaps about ends, articulated in an open ellipse that marks out the moving, growing heart of things from crest to crater. Fusion, separation, thresholds. A path traced between times, reigns, elements. Relentlessly redrawn. The living wave throughout, precarious pier between waters unmeasurable and sky, of dust animating into a landscape, from whale to butterfly. All the way to winged concrete.”