How did your eyes fall upon these little boxes?
I found these
little boxes in the corner of a shed; they seemed to have been asleep
there for a long time. It was love at first sight: I felt like a kid
accidentally discovering hidden sweets.
These small, battered,
slightly wonky shapes emanated something deeply moving. I instantly
thought of Giorgio Morandi, an artist I greatly admire, but mostly I
said to myself: “my goodness, this is going to be great fun…!”
boxes all sit there together. There is harmony, balance, perhaps even
solidarity of form created between them. How did you assemble them? Tell
us about these two compositions.
That’s right, they are huddled together. For reassurance? To keep warm? Who knows...? They’re most probably modest and shy.
started to experiment with several compositions, against different
backgrounds. Usually, as I work with film, it takes quite a while. The
advantage is that the constant shuttling between shooting and dark room
gives you plenty of time to think…
The first results were excessively anecdotal and laborious still lives. A little too “Morandian”, probably.
a very basic backdrop - two wooden planks painted white - emerged as
the best option. And then, a fair amount of empty space around the
subject, to create silence. A shadow. And within this shaded area, the
little boxes (and in one of the two compositions, a little countersink
too) stuck together in a compact form: a strangely impregnable citadel
in which a form of harmony prevails. And perhaps also nostalgia.Your
work focuses on images of objects which have modesty in common:
abandoned little cardboard boxes, worn-out mops, frayed plastic
sheeting. Is this a way for you to push aside the issue of the subject’s
representation in order to concentrate on the central aspect of the
work, the very essence of photography - light and the power of light?
absolutely right. The truth is that I find photography excruciatingly
boring, with a few exceptions. Not enough mystery, desperately flat,
much too closely linked to the subject. Unfortunately, in photography,
“what” is always more important than “how”.
Taking pictures has
become extremely easy, and as the world has no lack of subjects, things
aren’t getting any better. We’re literally being force-fed.
the subject is merely a starting point, a pretext. Hence perhaps the
fact that I always choose “poor” materials, as if selecting raw
materials to transform them, through a development process, into
finished products where every detail counts. And as I’m not a painter or
sculptor, but a photographer, I use light to work on them. Light,
nothing else. No image doctoring either. Never.
I enjoy simple, almost hand-crafted research: exploring off the beaten track leads to unexpected encounters and discoveries.
very happy when, by twisting photography’s arm a bit, I manage to upset
the rules and loosen its constitutive rigidity: it’s a way for me to
force it to reveal another side of reality, one that never appears at
first. Its magical side.
Limited edition, numbered and signed.