by Lina Manousogiannaki

We recently received Michel Mazzoni’s new book Amorces/Αστάρια and we are happy to present it here. Michel Mazzoni is a French photographer based in Brussels. His work is mostly conceptual and he has been questioning the technical means of photography while pushing the limits of the construction of the image. Michel is working on film and manipulates his negatives in order to achieve a unique alteration of each image which will bring him closer to the heart of it, to the very being of it, to its reason of existence, its essence.

His book, the eighth one, is now out. Aστάρια/Amorces is a project of more than one hundred photographs taken in Belgium, France, Romania, Germany and Hungary. The book takes the reader through a consistent journey in the artist’s world. Peaceful images, altered by a variety of technical manipulations are the result of a well conceived project. The fragility of the images themselves is pointed out by the fact that every image has been “tortured” by the artist. Bleaching, scratching, tearing and creasing are parts of Mazzoni’s idea of working with his images. What seems to interest the artist is to push the limits of his creation and eventually come up with something that is on the limits of abstraction. «The work outlines the resistance of the image and speaks about the point break between disappearance and visibility. So, what does the image is still capable of showing us or revealing us today?»

The artist is interested in optical phenomena as well as chemical results and that is the reason he has incorporated in his book passages from Holleman and his book 'Traité infographique'. But he has not stopped there, inspired by author Mark Z. Danielewski and his book 'La maison des feuilles', Mazzoni incorporates some passages of this book in his work. The idea of constant alternation is the subject of the Danielewski’s book and it is exactly what Mazzoni is interested in. He is pretty clear during our talk, he is not looking in simply reproducing a naturalistic approach of things, what interests him is this constant quest of the limits the medium can offer on a variety of levels, from camera to film to digital and back to print.

The book is thick and dense. Three hundred and twenty pages with one hundred and twenty images printed on light paper, an almost transparent Elementa Bible paper, it allows the reader to discover the idea of the upcoming image and slowly to get deeper and deeper to this peculiar and unique universe the artist has to offer.

Going through a phase of abstraction myself I was really happy to discover this book and to have met Michel Mazzoni for a coffee on a grey Brussels afternoon. I am looking forward to seeing more of his work, for the moment I will plunge into Αστάρια and try to make the most out of it!


Michel Mazzoni