Thu 24 Jan 2019
18:30 – 20:00

Through the eyes of… David Brunel : Jean-Luc Mylayne – Patience as snapshot

Martin Heidegger states in The Origin of the Work of Art(1935) that “The thingly element is so irremovably present in the artwork that we are compelled rather to say conversely that the architectural work is in stone, the carving is in wood, the painting in colour”.[1]By extension, we may add that every photograph already exists in the world in the sense that, from a purely physical point of view, photonic images continuously emanate from things. Ethereal, airborne images, ceaselessly emitted by their objects, similar to the flying “membranes” designated under the name of corporaby Lucretius in his De rerum natura; images which, in their natural, wild state, prior to their capture on camera, swirl in the world.

From this physical world of photons to the poetic world of contemplation is just one step, which the pictures by Jean-Luc Mylayne manifestly invite us to take. Such is the path opened up by the unique oeuvre of this artist of patience and protracted time. This latter invites us to station ourselves in silence in front of these pure images, in the hope of freeing these birds from our gaze; in the hope of rediscovering the volatile state that was theirs, not simply as birds and thus as flying creatures, but in their essence as fragments of world, lengths of time who, before becoming dry light, were “air-light”.

Through the simple referent of the bird and the technical and humble use of the medium of photography, the oeuvre of Jean-Luc Mylayne has awakened in us a duality, a tensor, movement/fixity, which we shall take as starting point from which to interrogate this profound, touching body of works anchored in the world. We have opened this abstract with Heidegger, and we shall close with him: “Only what is in motion can rest.  The mode of rest varies with the kind of motion […]. From this repose of the work we can now first see what is at work in the work.”[2]This is what we humbly seek and hope to find in the “bird images” by Jean-Luc Mylayne.


David Brunel is a writer and photographer. He holds a PhD in aesthetic philosophy and psychoanalytical studies and is a qualified university lecturer. Dividing his time between Arles and Amsterdam, he teaches aesthetic philosophy, art history, the history of photography and critical analysis in various universities and art academies.

[1]Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings, HarperCollins Publishers, 1993, p. 145

[2]Ibid. p. 173, 175