Interview : 10 questions
1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background?
I live and work in Paris. I emphasize a multidisciplinary approach : digital art, photography, video, graphics, installations …
Swiss Army knife of image, I am interested in everything that concerns « images ».
I make the most of my learning “on the job”, with guidance, advice and criticism from various professionals (during workshops, etc.).
This path can have drawbacks. It nevertheless has the advantage of free technical constraints and have a more instinctive, more free.
I have also developed a multidisciplinary approach, in particular through generative art installations (mixing audio and visual creations).
My work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, projections and installations in France and abroad (Europe, Canada, United States, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, etc.) in recognized events or places with an international scope . This is among other things the “Festival Européen de la photo de nu” in Arles; “Les trois baudets” in Paris; the “TOTEM” Nancy; of the “Stanford University” Palo Alto (USA); the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (USA), the Gallery Coffee and Cigarettes in Vienna (Austria); the Texu Gallery in Oviedo (Spain).
Many projects (productions, screenings, residencies, exhibitions, etc…) have been completed or are underway.
2. When, how and why started you filming?
Ever since childhood I’ve practised various means of expression and it is by chance and as a self-taught person that I started photography in 2007. I realized that it is a powerful medium which would allow me to re-create the images that are in my mind. The pursuit of images became my passion. After that, I have been quickly interested in the production of video clips and then digital art. Then, I developed a multidisciplinary approach, in particular through generative art installations (mixing audio and visual creations). It is what brings my visions and perceptions of the world to life.
I became interested in these artistic mediums because of the need to explore various modes of expression. I always need to explore various modes of expression.
I’ve always tried to convey in my creations a sweet disillusion, or even an elegant uneasiness as to the outside reality. Resorting to different embellishments to make my reality more acceptable to eyes too often hurt is sometimes a necessary evil… In this respect, visual art turned out to be a powerful medium that allows me to transcribe these mental images which I did not know how to express, and to represent my visions.
3. What kinds of topics have your films?
The guideline of my work is diversion of objects and things of the purpose for which they were designed to divert preconceptions. This is hacking in the first sense.
In addition, I am working on confusion, mental disorder and its manifestations.
We live in a highly connected world where the border between the real and the virtual is becoming increasingly blurred. Our new universe is impalpable, intangible, immaterial and volatile. It is a new home for the spirit, which shatters all physical boundaries.
My artistic approach is mainly dedicated to the representation of what I call « the aesthetics of desolation ». This is to attract attention to what makes sense, these multitudes of small things that eyes do not linger because they do not fit into the aesthetic or moral codes.
Everything then becomes a potential object and subject of my creations, provided that they answer this artistic approach. Thereby, each cycle is a new mission, a wandering, a search for these images that aim above all at depicting the aesthetic of desolation. This approach is then viually characterized by breaks, discontinuities and a poietic of discrepancy, crossover and mixture,whatever the subject.
So, I try to depict the world the way I feel it, to underline the obscure, the mysterious. I want to challenge our understanding of misery, weakness and ugliness. I want to show that the world can be dark, that the world can be painful. I want to acknowledge the wild side, the fictitious, the imagination and show that the surreal lives in everything. Although I am fascinated with the dark and the strange I don’t want to limit myself to just that.
So I make videos. Or at least, I try. Fleeting reflections, confused echoes of my conscience; distorted mirrors of the harshness, cruelty and merciless violence of the real; angers, daydreams and paradoxes… Secretly hoping that Others will share this quest for (non) sense.
4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Driven by a form of anger, a sordid ironic distress, I’ve always tried to convey in my creations a sweet disillusion, or even an elegant uneasiness as to the outside reality. Resorting to different embellishments to make my reality more acceptable to eyes too often hurt is sometimes a necessary evil… In this respect, video turned out to be a powerful medium that allows me to transcribe these mental images which I did not know how to express, and to represent my visions. Video is also an introspective process to deal with my demons, my neurosis, to control my instability, to repress my passions. As I love the solitude inherent to creation process, capturing images has quickly become a great physical and intellectual joy.
Art makes people dream, it acts on our reverie and our unconscious. It inhabits our imagination and our imaginary. It makes us shift into another space and another time. When I create something, I don’t think, I dream. A sad and tender renunciation; a languishing agony. A complex ideal. Searching deep inside me, I try as best as I can to give shape to these vague aspirations, these miseries without reason, these emotions without purpose. In a society where immediacy is prevalent, I chose to freeze time.
As I said, my approach is mainly devoted to the depiction of the aesthetic of desolation. It is about showing the world as I feel it, emphasizing the obscure, the mysterious… Pointing at what we comprehend of misery, weakness, ordinariness and ugly… Drawing the attention on what makes sense, on these multitudes of small things upon which we don’t dwell because they don’t fit the aesthetic or moral codes. Showing how the world can be dark, painful, etc. Acknowledging that everything is inhabited by the illusion, the fictional, the imaginary, the unreal, in short, fiction.
A long way from the pretentious sophisticated refrains and the technical and aesthetic codes, it’s always a matter of sensations. Therefore, I don’t limit myself by a medium. Grain, fuzziness, textures, double exposure, distortion, accidents. I make this process give everything that is possible.
My films are depictions of the unconscious, they are dreams that take the viewer to another space and time.
My work denies the audience the possibility of enjoying my creations as they would wish it, to amputate them of their feelings. What’s the point of explaining my creations that comes from the depths of my being; where my unconscious expresses itself partially? I am not even sure what I want to show, or what I saw, or what you see, or what someone else sees. The lens reveals subjectivity, so everyone has to see, and form their own opinion.
5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
It depends on the film and ” the inspiration of the moment.” I always shot in digital. Finally , I prefer natural light !
I’d lie if I said it never happens that I “dream” of such camera , such lens, etc. However, I have learned to do with what I have … and to do with what my finances allow me (we unfortunately always returns to these pragmatic considerations … ) !!! 🙂
I’m not obsessed and not very aware of the new “technical” materials. Things would be so simple if it was the material that allows to make good films.The most important thing , in my opinion , is the way we look at things. Having a “trained eye”. The technique, such as equipment, help . But that is not enough. “Material ” aspects do interest me as secondary matter. I attach more importance to the creative sensibility.
6. These days digital technology is dominating also video as a medium. In which way the digital aspect is entering the creation of your videos, technologically and/or conceptually?
Of course, film and video can be seen as artforms that exist because of 20th century technologies. As such, they have already absorbed many of the shocks associated with changes in technology.
Anyway, for me, it has never been a question I had to ask. I have always shot with digital equipment. The topic of modern technologies is above all the topic of a means to an end. Regardless of the technology I use, I use it to serve a concept.
Conceptually, I think digital technologies opened new experimentation spaces. Digital offers me instantaneous setups and a lot of possibilities. It is the meeting place of all my artistic mediums. I switch from a technic to another.
I often describe myself as a “graphic slayer” . I am a proponent of so-called DIY (” do it yourself”) for a long time . Technological artifacts have always interested me . Moreover, as I explain above, I am the co-founder of the collective of artists “L:ED” (Experiments in Digital). In this context, I develop several digital installations. So the digital aspect is very important in my work.
In the era of perennial digital practices , I question the paradoxical nature of the use of information technologies and communications . My images are thus the subject of a play on handling , appropriation and diversion. As such, for example, I do a lot of experiments around the aesthetics of glitch. I am also involved into all the new interdisciplinary art forms that are emerging and take place in social networks or on gaming platforms that challenge conventional creation and production systems.
Finally, new technology offers me various ways to work. It can give me the immediate playback capacity of digital cameras. It is possible to create by shooting, rather than use the elaborate pre-planning and scenario writing of traditional cinema. Creation can be done with several possible delivery platforms in mind – theatrical, television, web, mobile. It’s very exciting. There are many routes to explore !
The sum of these experiences creates a dynamic fields that auto-continue unabated and resonates through the creation of digital video.
New technology (social media) is also an opportunity to show our work. Digital production and online distribution allow artists to by-pass traditional gatekeepers (recording companies, magazine publishers, bookstores, video rental stores, etc.) by placing work online directly . The question for artists and arts organizations becomes, ―How do we get the public to notice us online with all this stuff out there?‖ So, just as artists and arts organizations should be finding it easier to reach the public directly, they find themselves awash in a sea of content.
7. How do you finance your films?
This interview is timely and appropriate : I am looking for a sponsor or a patron. For now, my productions are ” artisanal” . I redouble inventiveness to complete my projects.
8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
For some projects, I work alone.
For other projects, I collaborate with other artists.
I am with Exomène co-founder and artistic director of the collective “L:ED (Experiments in Digital”) dedicated to digital arts. The group aims to promote the creation, promotion and distribution of multimedia artistic works. The art direction is based on multidisciplinary performances and installations. Each project tends to mix the disciplines, to highlight the tenuous nature of the borders between them for the artists and the spectators to get rich intermingling of these. Thus L:ED regularly partners with many artists and performers (dancers, actors, musicians, etc.) to propose new performance incorporating interactive technologies.
In L:ED, I could develop several innovative performance concepts and installations with various artists
I have no preference over a work mode . They are different but complementary.
When I work with other people, I probably learn more things, both from a technical point of view ( knowledge ), but also from a personal one: project partners , making me see the world from another perspective , give me the opportunity for new (learning) experiences and personal enrichment. I learn so much about myself.
When I work alone , I express myself differently. My work is probably deeper: I have no restraint and contents come from my guts. It’s a real outlet.
9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Cinema of course, (from German expressionnists to Lynch, Kubrick or Waters … what a program!) but also (and especially) video clips have always been very important to me.
Regarding more specifically the video clip: the combination on the same support of various data such as music, images and words, which work together perfectly with a specific creativity, that is something I was looking for when I begun my own creations.
Literature also inspires me. Before being films, my “images” were first and foremost metaphors.
But I don’t have a “strongest inspiration”. It could be everything. Or nothing. I do not have a favorite theme. As objects and subjects of my graphic works respond to my artistic approach, everything is potentially a source of inspiration. So my main source of inspiration is the world. What I see, analyze, dissect, assimilate and triturate every day!
10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
I have a lot of things currently on the go, but I am superstitious so I dare not speak about it.
If “dream” means “wish”, “ideal”… that’s a question I never asked myself… and I think I will never do! On the one hand, I do not live in the conditional tense. I am an instinctive person. And on the other hand, it’s like a phantasm that you realize: what is left after this great pleasure called “dream” has been achieved? By formalizing too precisely my desires and aspirations, I would be too afraid of being left with only a huge void when my goals are achieved.
Finally, this would imply that I am able to have a clear vision of what I want. And, since I am everything and its opposite, it is Impossible for me to know what my “dream” could be 🙂
Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF platform? Where?