The text below was written by this artist. He delivers his thoughts through this text.
Hit him hard on his head! Harder! You’ll see that it stops moving. It’s always like that. Visibly disturbing and / or almost at breaking point, this sentence semms to me to be a good gateway to this collection of images that I decided to call Malgré lui (In spite of himself), without yet knowing all the implications of this choice.
A few days ago, I was talking to a friend about some of the photos I took a little over 30 years ago in a café in Lisbon, perhaps the oldest. I had spent a few days observing the waiters, how they moved, when they took a break, their gestures when serving and, above all, their idle moments. In those days, Lisbon was a more peaceful city, and it was natural to wait for customers. Then the waiter, always a patient man, was waiting for the customer with his metal tray placed like a briefcase under his arm, dressed in his funeral tuxedo. Being a friend of the café owners, I was allowed to take photographs in the cafe when closed, taking advantage of the friendly collaboration of the waiters who obviously did not expect any order from any customer. It must be said in passing that they found some of my whims very strange. The one with the tray serves as the perfect exemple: I have made countless images of this situation, images I always questioned with great attention, constantly asking myself which of my shots best described the attitude. I concluded that the readability I was looking for was in one of the images where time was stretched and the sharpness less.
Memory of this episode led me to the series that I am now exhibiting, where life mixes with death. Like the waiters – the English word defines much better this pausing and anticipation – Malgré Lui is also characterized by mouvement towards something and waiting for something final which will happen one day. Meanwhile, we can anticipate an infinity of masks showing a great variety of characteristics including those where movement has come to its ultimate stop, if there has ever been movement.
But when I think about time, I realize that I have always worked for its innumerable ploys, its aways and means that astonish us when we become aware of them, the aspects of change and so many other minor and great accidents impossible to enumerate.
Jorge Molder February 2019