Untitled 11 (From: Detachment Series) | Mixed Media | 68 x 90 cm | 2016
Untitled 13 (From: Detachment Series) | Mixed Media | 68 x 90 cm | 2016
Artist Statement: The artist summons in his pictures characters who seem to have come from another time—the Amish. Detachment opens a new stage in the work of Nicolas Dhervillers. This Anabaptist community takes root at the end of the 17th century in Switzerland and refuses to open up to others. As arrested in time, it also refuses any notion of progress. The title of this photographic series alone is ambiguous. Dhervillers highlights scenes like a director, without ever knowing if these people refuse to belong to the common world, or if they emancipate from their communities. This new phase in the artist’s research, always eminently poetic and romantic, marks the end of a trilogy started in 2011. He began with My Sentimental Archives to interrogate the archive image, integrating photographic memory—a place and a time in his photographs. With Hommages, Dhervillers took an interest in classical painting, appropriating the characters of old masters, as Nicolas Poussin had done, usurping certain paintings to his brother-in-law Gaspard Dughet. Finally with Detachment, he works in the present with images of the Amish, stolen by other photographers (in fact, this community refuses to be taken in photography), which he re-interprets and brings back to the places where this community was originally developed.