10 – Jean-Marie Donat

France (1962)


For over 35 years, Jean-Marie Donat built up a vast collection of photographs he stumbled across on flea markets. He then collated these vernacular photographs by topic in some stunning publications. The series presented at Festival Images Vevey comprises a collection of mountainous landscapes reflected in bodies of water. This French artist came up with the idea of turning these photographs upside down. All of a sudden, the symmetry created by the mirror image in the water produces abstract pictures that recall Rorschach’s inkblot tests. This Swiss psychiatrist is renowned for the eponymous symmetrical klecksographs he created in the 1920s. The Rorschach test is still used in clinics today, whereby patients are encouraged to decipher the abstract shapes which thus reveals certain personality traits. Jean-Marie Donat invites festivalgoers to make their own observations of the rotated images outdoors, with the alpine landscape of Lake Geneva as a backdrop.