The images presented were carried out starting from a specific photographic process drawing aside the traditional material of catch of sight and avoiding any artifice of filtering and coloring.
Indeed, the fragments of plants - sheets and corollas - replace film and project their image without intermediary on an emulsion color.
The photographs, carried out completely in laboratory, are transformed then into tests with single pulling baptized by the artist “Foliographies”.
Pulling, private from an intermediary (the film), profits thus from a great definition and a surprising fidelity.


“Looks at this white spot over there, one would say an immense flower but it is perhaps only the back of a sheet”.
The Creole dialog between André Breton and André Masson.

We live at one impregnated time of ecology. The study of the mediums as well as behaviors of the living beings within those been the subject of many and daily debates. One indeed starts to find normal and justified the engagements for the safeguard of our environment.
The imagery of nature, concerned of appearance, evolves/moves as for it more slowly. If the attraction of the man for the natural environment and the mysteries which surround it is acquired, its perception and its representation do not remain about it less not limited. What botany must explain, the artist tries since mists of time and by all the means, to show it.

Fascinated initially by the photographic portrait, I then concentrate my activity towards the study not of a conscience but of a skin, of a skin whose apparent fixity could influenced the perception of the other…
Thus I was accustomed to the long installation. The objective became sometimes a modelled detailing telescope and contours of a face increasingly more remote. More often it was transformed into microscope being delayed with the exploration of tiny traumatisms, revealing of forgotten accidents…
The face of the model was rivetted with the apparatus and part of its secrecies gave up to him.
Still was necessary it to have models. Abundant in the big city where I resided then, they became rarer in the forest in the middle of which I have lived now for eighteen years (the Forest of the Moors of Gascogne, largest of Europe).
At this point in time nature drew my attention. Other models abounded there, other occasions of portraits, other vegetable skins now - to confess. The sheets never similar and renewed without end, agents transitory of the seasons, monopolized all my time.
I liked them one after the other, transparent and disproportionate discovering behind their appearance, an unsuspected universe with the geometry and the blazing colors.
They are these humble plants, suddenly drawn from their insignificance, that prestigious media presented to their readers through a report on the species in the process of disappearance (see page 205: Threatened plants)
Often in the name of the defense of the forest, prone to the aggressions of our civilization, certain sheets of tree started a round the world tour then…

In my laboratory, I courted them by drawing aside any handling on the level of filtering, the coloring or the make-up. I sought fidelity and I intervened in the form right on the level of the glance. Caught by the virus psychedelic of the years 1970, I launched out with delight in this visual search.
One presses without being moved a rich ground by unsuspected forms. One looks without seeing. And yet, of time to other one tries to intercept a detail, a part of the puzzle of the universe. The cosmos which changes slips us between the fingers and it is necessary to be vigilant if one wants to observe his print. Nature burns us the eyes but we must persevere. If not the glance dies out and disappearance follows…
Thanks to this specific photographic process, I test since nearly twelve years carrying a contemporary glance on Great Nature and his strange envelope .


"I paint the things which are behind the things”, said Robert Vigan, unforgettable character of Prévert and Carné. He added, sorrier than aggressive: “When I see a swimmer, I paint already one drowned”. On the quay of the Fogs, the destiny ran out in black and gray under the brush of the painter.

The photographer Jean Hincker is not here the agent of the gods, but it chose to explore it beyond the sheets, the things hidden in the pages of the universal herbarium and the recesses of its garden. And it returns filled with wonder at the voyage. He also often collected, under the green and fresh sheet, the dry and faded sheet, sometimes broken up, because these drowned-there, in the ocean of the trees and the plants, can avoid fabulous splendors, clean to push back all the curses of autumn.

Died sheets, still said Prévert, in song, which collect with the shovel. The photograph esclaffe. Magic perhaps, or patience of the artist (“the base of photography, wanted Barthes, it is the installation”), the dead sheet bursts of life for which can see it: it is a green, drunk sheet of youth, which just changed color.

Especially do not hustle it with the shovel! Rather follow the photographer careful, respectful, leaning on thousands of sheets, in love and stiff, and delicately taking the model, often the poor remains which will answer its phantasm best.
A sheet is so banal, to seize it and to be amazed of its architecture is a so common gesture, a so childish emotion, that to fix it on a film a wild imagination does not betray. Fortunately, there is a trick of magician: the photographer does not use a film, but it is the handled sheet, which is used as film.
One needs initially the défroisser, to prepare it, level it, dry it to slip it into the enlarger in the place of the negative one. The light the cross-piece and projects its forms and its colors on a positive paper color (Cibachrome). Pulling is single, the heat of the luminous ray having deteriorated the sheet, it is not more reusable under its preceding appearance.

Let us remember the small prince that we were with the communal one, with whom all the schoolmasters since Jules Ferry asked one day: “To me a sheet of tree Draws”. For a care worthy of a pagan ritual, it was necessary to flat put the sheet of plane tree or chestnut tree between two other sheets, they, of paper.
It was another history to draw it, to know to read it in filigree, to dream it, observe it: the most beautiful sheet does not make the best drawing. One can think that opened out, ripe, adult photographer, the ex-small prince is avenged cheaply for an impromptu school exercise. It holds it, its sheet, its old sheet, green or dries, which imports, and it makes a work of art of it reproduced in the magazines.

Who would have predicted the notoriety with most vulgar died sheets, vegetable rag, frayed lace, spotted skin trembling on a skeleton of old man mérou? The author differently tells his odyssey with the country of the sheets.
Initially captivated by the technique of the play, then fascinated by the graphic result, he acknowledges himself deeply attracted by what he calls “the traumatism of each one of his models”: an unperceivable accidental lesion, for example the beginning of a rotting, gangrene installed, the disease, or the elegant one, mysterious disorder of the veins.
The perfect balance of a sheet masks a rejection of mathematics and logic: two plus two never make four. They do not resemble each other like two water drops. With each one its way of trembling under the wind, of singing under the rain.

The sheet, the sheet, always started again…
It is a history without end. The amateur of sheets, died or sharp, is in love with the seasons, a guettor of spring. November confiscates its great red book, April to him restores to him, updating, a small green library.

Michel Herblay
Article published in the Magazine Zoom N°163 in March 1991.

Michel Herblay (1925-2003), journalist, collaborated in "Canard Enchaîné" and "the Expansion" during many years.
Under his true name, Michel Hincker, it founded with Antonin Artaud the review “the street” about 1945 and has participle with resistance literary and intellectual within the "Combat newspaper" as from the summer 1944.