Jacqueline was born in Paris, France in 1941.
Jean-Louis was born in Blida, Algeria in 1939.
They both had an early passion for the arts. Jacqueline started painting and writing before reaching her teens, while Jean-Louis's love of music had him contemplate a professional career as a singer.
After a few years learning and teaching photography, Jean-Louis discovers a photograph by Alvin Coburn and decides to try the gum bichromate process. After a few unsuccessful attempts, he lets Jacqueline experiment with it and, after discarding the books, in a moment of inspiration she rediscovers this technique. They'll spend a few days trying to understand what happened!
To this day, they're still refining their art.
They both live in Paris and are members of the A.P.A. (Ancient Processes Association).
In undertaking this journey we sought to reconstruct a memory: a memory that would recall the mythical legends of our childhood and that would translate the warm breeze, golden southern light and seducing aromas of our Corsican homeland. A memory that would translate the language of our roots.
In 1982 we turned our artistic interests toward the medium of photography. Seeking a means to express poetry, magic and reverie, we explored ancient photographic techniques. After a period of trial and error, in 1984 we discovered a method that corresponded to our needs. We revived an early development process that uses bichromated gelatin.
While the art of photography reveals an ephemeral quality, the gum bichromate process seems even more evanescent. Each image communicates an interior monologue and reveals the hidden self that escapes the ordinary eye. With only the minimum of available information on this early process, we entered the project with blind enthusiasm. But our research was not in vain as we soon discovered the unlimited possibilities of this technique. We sought color, as the polychromatic world would incite us to discover the alchemy of pigments and watercolors, which was not approached by the early photographic pioneers.
While wishing to remain faithful to the process of the early developers, we experimented with various art and photographic materials available to us. Thus our work reflects the innovations and sensibilities particular to the modernization of products such as film, watercolor, photosensitized paper, gum arabic and colored pigments.
We proceed on our journey inspired by Paul Valéry's words: "The real tradition of great things is not to redo what others have already done, but to recapture the spirit of those great things and to recreate them in another time". After fifteen years of research we have concluded that no single result can exist once and for all. Each image requires a new language to adapt and adhere to the dynamic changes of our interior visions.
We have revived an ancient technique whose innovative nature captures the fleeting moments of perpetual change. Working with the bichromate process has allowed us to record this transient expression. Perhaps Steichen said it best when he described the process as "painting with light".
We are developers of photographs and painters of images that reveal a world isolated from daily reality. We are the eyes and ears which open doors to foreign visions.
We will continue our research in this limitless art inspired by Picasso's words: "There is never a moment you can say 'I have worked well and tomorrow is Sunday'. As soon as you stop one thing, you already have started something else. You can put a canvas aside thinking that you won't touch it again, but you can never assume that it's finished."
©1999 Jacqueline Giudicelli