Christophe Jacrot

Snow series.


Expanding your vision.

When I am unable to read an image, I stop; I stop and remind myself that it’s me who is not able to read the image, not the image which is unreadable. That’s when I remind myself: I need to train my eye, I need to expand my view. When I face a visual language that is unfamiliar, I do not stop—I grow.

Remember: we are all acculturated to visual categories. We are then drawn towards images that we like. But when we see something foreign and think, “Ah, this is too weird,” that is the moment to push ourselves. Those moments are great—we are really confronting new points of view. We must always challenge ourselves, as readers and viewers of the world.

Learning a new visual language is like learning a new verbal language. In my mind, the goal when learning any new language is to someday read its poetry. To set aside translations and access the real thing. For us, as image-makers and image-consumers, there is a similar process. We must learn in order to understand what others are trying to say. When you can do that, you will see if others, from contexts different than your own, truly have something original to show you.