Jardin by Massao Mascaro
Signed copies on demand
“Human-beings are creators of gardens in the same way that they are storytellers”
I found myself across the world in a setting that I am familiar with, but that I do not care for. I found myself within large spotlessly clean streets, paved with manicured trees, surrounded by alien passerby’s, shiny cars, chain restaurants, in my parent’s beautiful white house. A home with no garden.
Jardin would be anonymous without its plastic cover. Its white skin is sheathed by a transparent sleeve bearing a large green rectangle, the uniform size of all photographs within. The green rectangle is alone amongst negative space: a layer of colour that inhaled all the chlorophyll from the black-and-white images.
The cover’s plastic, and its impeccable outlines, were like the streets outside: meticulous and sterile. Like the white house, an uncomfortable cleanness devoid of nature, devoid of humanity. A toy house with a synthetic smell. Then I opened the book, and the unsoiled dizziness quickly vanished.
Inside, the photograph’s abstract lines and shapes are only slightly carried by the wind. The breeze follows through the pages, however, and sometimes, like a moment in two instances, in two seconds, two images repeat themselves. Those whiff breaths, with teenagers on a bench, and flying dust. Jardin’s photographs flow like the thick pages of its book, with its images whirling across the spreads.
Pavement and roadworks, a fence, concrete, water drainage, all mirrored the photographs of Jardin. But as I roamed, the city revealed itself as a bizarre, polished setting. A décor. Flashes of nature brought me back to the towns that I cherish, those that coexist with wilderness nonsensically. Those that are dirty, spontaneous, animated. Where we sit on the floor, where we’re alone in the forest, where construction work never finishes, and where an avenue slowly faints into a trail.
Jardin is nature with the metropolitan – the duality of a park amongst concrete, or flowers in a plastic bag. But there is no uncomfortable tension, I am well aware that this is an ounce of the natural in the midst of structures, like a secret garden. Where I have sat and foolishly relished. Where I have picked flowers to make a bouquet for my loved one. With an image per spread, dancing from one edge of the paper to another, I am transported into the breeze.
But in this faraway city, there are no piles of paper newspapers, no elegant ironwork poles, no leftover chairs on the streets, no discarded wine bottles on the floor. There is no garden where I can lay on the grass. Jardin’s images are a sanctuary with no walls, open to all.
I flew back home, back to my treasured city because somehow Jardin reminded me of the European urban.
This text is part of The C.Sawyer project.
The project cultivates a character – C. Sawyer – who interlaces his/her personal analysis of Tipi’s photobooks with his/her unfolding life, thoughts, routine, emotions, relations, etc. Every now and then C. Sawyer writes a chronicle based on a selection of books.