New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Denis Darzacq

You can’t help but give credit to French photographer Denis Darzacq for taking body language to new heights in “Hyper”, a series of fifteen large C-prints that are big enough to command a dominant position on almost any wall. And you can’t help but look at them and then come back for a second helping. Darzacq enlisted a group of young French street performers to jump, leap or somehow levitate in the aisles of the new brightly lit Hyper supermarkets that have sprouted up in Paris and Rouen; then he photographed them in sports stop-action mode to catch them in the middle of these energetic moves to nowhere. Of the 15, the jumpers’ faces are only visible in three images, which seems to make them more involving. There are exceptions such as Hyper #7, 2007, which shows a female performer, face not visible, seemingly being blasted out of the supermarket’s flower shop, arms stretched out. The viewer wonders, how is that possible? But it is, no digital tricks here. Darzacq knows how to create awe and makes it look effortless. In Hyper #5, which might be dubbed “tuna fish man,” the jumper’s face is visible, he’s leaping a few feet off the floor, his head tilted toward the ceiling, his eyes look glazed as if he’s lost in space but he’s only in the canned food section. Some of these pictures, which range from about $7,500 to $15,000, have red stickers on them so Darzacq must be doing something right and having fun in the process. So will you.

Denis Darzacq

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