It is a world of frontiers, of in-betweens, a world between sea and land, between day and night, a world “at the edge of the world”, that Serge Picard reveals to us. His photographs explore the limits of a universe deserted by man, of which only traces remain, which are as many milestones on which our gaze finds an anchor. The sea, the earth and the sky cohabit and merge there, further accentuating the impression of strangeness and the absence of reference points capable of enlightening us; these confines remain distant, the questions they raise are numerous and our curiosity remains unanswered. Who still frequents these seashores where only an ice cream seller’s shed bears witness to another season of heat and sunshine? For what purpose are these truncated railways, which have come to a standstill, these roads that slide into the sea or these lighthouses that guide unlikely navigators? For what journeys are these cargo ships moored at the quays of ghost ports for which all activity seems to have disappeared? What about this pavilion from another century, placed in the centre of the picture, set with pruned trees whose stumps stand up pitifully, witnesses of a relentlessness to eradicate all luxuriance? What should we think of this tuft of Yuccas whose presence reminds us that there are other places, other regions with more clement skies? Serge Picard’s images seem to us imbued with nostalgia. Gathered on their margins and yet enclosed in the frame that closes them off and protects them from any external contagion, they are so many closed universes, fragments that are much more than simple images of nature, than simple topographical observations. The shades of grey and the density of black accentuate the ethereal side of these works and their poetic charge removes them from any documentary function. They are like a bridge between our contemporary world marked by the seal of the industrial era and the landscapes of the pioneers of photography such as the seascapes of Gustave Le Gray.
Maurice Lecomte, Centre National de la Photographie