As long as time will last (working title)
This is a series of photographs in the lineage of artists, ethnologists, writers and filmakers such as André Gide, Marc Allégret, Marcel Griaule, Wifredo Lam, André Breton, Marcel Leiris, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Pierre Verger and Jean Rouch with a poetic gaze on the world. This universe is defined by spirits meeting at every moment, creating a new reality.
During my travels, photography permits to capture a form of communication that dissolves boundaries between author, actor and spectator. Differences in language and the gap between narrative structure and geography captures incommensurable realities, that coexist through experience.
I work on texts that are within the language of the protagonists portrayed, while focusing on stories about death, as speaking of death is also speaking of life. The world that surrounds us is also the world that watches us.
Lenguaje (langage), Mexico City, March 2011
The leitmotif of this series is the skull, a reminder of death in Mexican cultural héritage present in daily life. This relationship to death is one that escapes pathos. I wanted to associate everyday life with some of thèse skulls in under-privileged areas of Mexico City, where human activity is very intense, lived outdoors as much as indoors. Life is all the more precarious in the Mexican mind with the political reality of the narco-wars currently taking place.
In this series, stories taking place come from the protagonists in the photos translated to me later on, to form with the translator and my own interpretations, composed narratives made of a multiplicity of voices.
The last Picture, Benares 2013
Indians having chosen a spiritual path visit this city at the border of the Gange river renouncing material life towards illumination.
At their death, Sadhus are carried into the Gange in chariot chairs in contrast to other individuals who are usually incinerated. A family of fisherman produced the chairs I drew during a previous trip. This object served as a prop in capturing the last moments of a Sadhu named Bbaji. His remarks and words are recorded upon the photo-montages.
The Never never land, Australia 2014
This trilogy would end in Australia where I hope to have to opportunity to interact with aborigine, capturing their stories situated between dream and death. This is the project I am currently fundraising for.
Aborigine are considered to live in symbiosis with the land. In the Original Myth,
dreamtime, a continuum between past, present and the future, humans and all that composes the universe are articulated within a complex system of belief.
These systems are revealed through oral literature, song and danse. Funeral rites are essential because some Aborigene believe that the spirit of the Dead can only meet the Dream Ancestors following appropriate ceremonies. All human is linked spiritually to sacred sites of ancestors that it is necessary to preserve.
My photographic intervention would be linked to an abstract space such as a desert where time is suspended, without spatial references to those unfamiliar with it, suspended in the void. Bodies covered in traditional white pigment during rituals undertaken by inhabitants of this region would be a point of focus, a situation where bodies become almost paintings but also become analoguous to the earth themselves.
Each person, animal and plant possess two souls within some of these belief systems. Upon death, the mortal soul regains the great void, while the other joins the sacred site of the ancestor. I will try to capture this duality through a double exposure of film.
In the Aborigine belief system, a child who is born is a returning ancestor. When a person dies, the spirit hides and waits for a woman to pass by to slip into her womb. The relationship between death and new beginnings is also the premise for this series.
As I collect these stories within a principal of documentary fiction, I will collect these stories. Perhaps the peoples of the desert will direct me and the camera.
As Quai Branly museum was very sensitive to one of my previous films, phoker chromo, at the limit of worlds, and they offered to help find the adequate locations and people to help turn this project into reality.
I now hope to find the resources that will enable me to realize this project, capture these multiple voices, and the multiple realities that coexist to create our world.