Day 2 | Johnathan Franco


The garden that is a mere scenario in five old black and white anonymous photographs, attempts to capture moments of leisure between a father(?) and his three children(?), becomes the core of all attentions, dominant in splendour and life. Space seems to expand freely releasing beauty and poetry contained within all the natural forms. The human issue reveals to be secondary, almost a background but strangely haunting and mysterious. Each individual photograph was scanned and several copies were printed out with a common printer, using four separate colour cartridges. The pages were than imbibed in water and ethylic alcohol to create reactions such as colour separation, blending and an oxidation effect. The altered copied images were rescanned and edited. The footage closing the film was shot in a garden I believe to be the same one where the photographs were taken decades ago.

The Beautiful Garden, 2007 – 4:15 mins


Johnathan Franco – Lisbon Portugal

7 thoughts on “Day 2 | Johnathan Franco

  1. I was drawn to the screen initially by sound. I was on the second floor of the Richmond Center when I heard it and there was already a mood created before I looked at the plasma screen. I do have to say this is an unsettling piece, but it is enigmatic in a strong, positive way. I really enjoy the use of the still image as video.

  2. At first glance, this is very reminiscent of Stan Brakhage’s “Dog Star Man” Series ( in how images dissolve into one another, and especially how within each still frame is unique like a painting, drawing, etc. Brakhage uses constant change of imagery to give the viewer a visual overload, and combined with the silence, it almost makes you want to look away. Franco uses the same ever-changing imagery but adds sound; even with visual confusion the sound adds intrigue to want to understand the relationship between the two.

  3. I agree with heather that at first it was an unsettling piece. I could not understand it. I read the description and then I understood that it was about memories. I could then understand that memories could be portrayed in that way. I like how the images distorting over time were like the memories fading and changing. But then the animals faces and the audio to the piece didn’t fit for me. they were almost like nightmares being remembered.

    Overall the piece made me think, so it gets points there. But on the whole I do not like it.


  4. “The footage closing the film was shot in a garden I believe to be the same one where the photographs were taken decades ago”
    This work asks how time appears in our consciousness. The past seems to be present with us, so long as the ghost of memory remains at our attention. Through our retention of that which is no longer present, we think of memory in our attention or primal impression of present experience, and we invoke protention, the looking ahead to what might or might not follow, but retention, attention and protention do not follow any “A before B before C” pattern, and this upsets linear time. Simply put, our experiences do not form a line.
    Its a perfect example of 21st Century art – this suggests time as the issue, not space. The closing footage was shot in a garden believed to be the same one where the photographs were taken, so past and future are tied together through space, making space irrelevant to the moving poesies in the film which is division within time. I think there is a whole other interesting context that may be attached to this because we are discussing it by blogging in a realm of hypertext simultaneity, once again displacing our ordinary expectations of time and space, memory, presence, absence, experience, communication…
    Far out.

  5. I really was drawn to the beautiful imagery and narrative. The sound and progressive nature of the video was very “unsettling”. I was really entranced by the the memory dream like quality. I think that is why I continued to go back and view it more than once. I kept trying to remember the video but while watching it again, I noticed that it changed or rather my memory of the video was different from what it was.

  6. I didn’t see a video of this, but looking at the idea and images, I like how the family picture is what appears to be overlapping itself. The technical stuff you did on the pictures look interesting because they look older and are unlike the pictures we have today.

  7. the first half of the video is very beautiful. it reminds me of the secret garden or the garden of eden. the second half (from the monkey face to the end) i’m not sure i understand. also, the sound is hard to listen to…i don’t know if it supposed to be that way or not.

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