The wind blows on a wild night. It’s just an ordinary day, yet I find myself sleeping on the edge of a precipice, in a tent filled with stones to neutralise the lack of soil. The volcano moves under our backs, roaring into our ears the absurdity of what we are doing. Two young city dwellers acting as adventurers, armed with sunglasses and an analogue camera for sophisticated memories.
Nothing had prepared me for such a moment of rupture.
That night, the irresponsibility, the madness, the quest for a life that’s hard to imagine from our tidy apartments. Then the silence and finally the break of dawn dispersing the ghosts.
It’s still very early when I open the tent to discover the landscape I thought I’d distinguished from under the starlight. The extent of the horizon runs through me like an electric current. I step outside and realise that the entire island is spread out at our feet as a gaming table. Further away, the continent stretches as far as the eye
can see, a promise of other lands, other countries. And then there’s the sea, immense and comprehensive source, giving birth to the sun in front of me.
It's the dawn of a day like any other day,
and yet I see the whole world being born.
Nothing else exists,
neither you nor I, nor when and where we are.
It is a time beyond time,
It is a time that contains all times,
I dissolve into the stream,
I shed my flesh on the side of the volcano.
The only thing left is the certainty of an age, when we did not take ourselves for gods, the certainty of myth.
A theogony endlessly renewed,
the discovery of pure perception.
It’s just a short-lived moment. Then time begins to pass again, and I find myself climbing a scree slope for hours, counting my life goals meter by meter, as an improvised and exhausted mountaineer in a desert of rocks and ladybugs, of which we dare not guess the end.
And when we finally reach the point above our heads - where we want to arrive, the ultimate horizon of our fatigue - there, we find nothing but a parking lot overcrowded with buses and cars, German tourists sporting
white socks, street vendors with sunburned faces, souvenir shops, crying children, screaming children, scenic points, restaurants, selfie-sticks, Coca-Cola for 2 euros a bottle, postcards, ice cream, sunglasses,
cigarettes ... Ladies and gentlemen, would you like to buy an excursion to see the crater?
Melchior de Tinguy (French, b. in Bahrain in 1986) earned a BA in Photography in Rome, and an MFA from Bard College, New York. His work has been exhibited at Detour in Los Angeles, l'espace Karl Marx Studio and l'Orfèvrerie in Paris, Maison Jamsheer Franco-Bahrain Center; Somos Art Space, in Berlin as well as galleries in New York City. Melchior de Tinguy is currently a resident artist at POUSH, Manifesto in Clichy since may 2020 and l'Orfèvrerie, Saint Denis, since 2018.
Installation Photography by Romain Darnaud