"De porte en porte"
J'ai eu, il y a quelque temps, un projet d'exposition pour un pavillon: le lieu comprenait une grande salle centrale, donnant accès par des baies à de plus petites salles .
Les espaces périphériques ne communiquaient pas entre eux, obligeant les visiteurs à repasser chaque fois par le hall central pour parcourir l'exposition, ce qui provoquait dans la grande salle un incessant va et vient
Je voulais réaliser un projet spécifique à ce lieu et j'ai imaginé de montrer dans la partie centrale de grandes images de cet espace, mais vu au travers des portes de communication, à partir des petites salles contiguës, donnant à voir du lieu une image inversée à la manière d'un gant que l'on retourne sur lui-même en le retirant .
Pour diverses raisons, étrangères à mon travail, ce projet n'a pas abouti, mais il m'a amené à aborder ma démarche sous un angle différent ; tant dans la construction des maquettes que dans la façon de les photographier.


Pour les photographies d'"Ateliers ", je construisais la maquette complète d'un espace unique, dont les parois étaient percées de portes et de fenêtres pour la lumière . Je démontais une des cloisons en fonction de l'angle souhaité pour ménager à la camera un recul suffisant. Les prises de vues y étaient généralement axiales, montrant
la totalité de l'espace en perspective.
Pour les photographies que je montre chez Aline Vidal cet automne, j'ai construit des éléments de décors, des cloisons indépendantes, percées les unes de baies ou de portes,
les autres de fenêtres ou de verrières. Tous ces éléments étant combinables entre eux sur
une gamme de sols faits de matériaux différents ( carrelages, planchers, parquets...).
Ce jeu me permet de créer des images d'enfilade, de successions de plusieurs espaces, vus au travers des portes, la lumière provenant généralement d 'ouvertures latérales, que l'on ne voit pas nécessairement dans l'image.
Ce processus me laisse une grande liberté, pouvant aller jusqu'à sortir du cadre : créant un trouble en dévoilant en partie la construction du décor.
J'ai aussi utilisé de petits miroirs convexes qui reprennent la vue de l'enfilade en sens inverse et accentuent l'effet de perspective en la déformant par leur courbure.
L'histoire de la peinture recèle quelques exemples célèbres de l'utilisation de ces miroirs .
Ailleurs, j'ai introduit dans le décor une petite image de lui-même, un Polaroïd, une sorte de mise en abîme.

Some time ago I had a project for an exhibition in a pavilion: the place consisted of a large central room with openings giving access to smaller rooms.
The peripheral spaces were not connected to each other and so the visitors had to go back to the central hall each time in order to visit the whole exhibition. This necessitated a constant coming and going in the central hall.
I wanted to carry out a project directly related to this space and I imagined displaying large pictures
of the central hall in that area but taken from the entrances of the adjoining rooms, thus showing the space as a reversed picture, rather like a glove that is turned inside out as it is removed.
For various reasons, unconnected to my work, this project was never realised but it did lead me to approach a subject from a different angle; as much in the construction of the models as in the way of photographing them.
For the photographs of the series "Studios" I built the model as a single space, the walls of which had doors and windows set in them to let in the light. I took down one of the partitions according to the angle I required to accomodate the camera at a suitable distance. The shots were by and large axial showing the totality of the space in perspective.
For the photographs that are on display this autumn at Aline Vidal's I built the decor in units, as independant partitions some with openings or doors set in them, others with windows or glass walls and roofs set in them. All of these units were interchangeable one with the other and could be assembled on a selection of floors made from different materials (tiles, wooden floorboards, parquet...).
This technique allowed me to create a series of interlinked pictures, sequences of a number of spaces, seen through doorways, with the light generally coming from lateral openings, which are not necessarily in the picture.
This method grants me a great deal of freedom, even to allowing me to go outside the frame, creating confusion by partly revealing the actual structure of the decor.
I also used small convex mirrors to pick up the view of the interlinked rooms in the opposite direction and to accentuate the effect of the perspective by deforming it with their curvature.
The history of art harbours some famous examples of the use of these mirrors.
Elsewhere in the decor I included a small Polaroid of the scene, a kind of mise en abime.
The rules one sets oneself in the creative process are there to be broken. So rather than photographing my installation in a direct line with the doors I finished by taking the shot laterally facing the large studio window.
From this position, without moving the camera, I took several alternative shots by modifying the origin of the main source of light and the positions of the components used to furnish the scene (small cubes or more or less identifiable debris).
I "mirror" printed some of these pictures (lateral inversion).
As the window was divided up regularly I could cut the picture in two, vertically along the line of its frame, down the middle or laterally off centre and then reassemble the different parts of the picture together.
I noticed that if I got rid of one or two lengths of the window and brought the other parts closer together I could significantly accentuate the effect of the perspective which was already exaggerated in the shot by the deliberate choice of a position non-perpendicular to the lateral partitions in relation to the window.
In order to further disturb the perception of the perspective I put a hinge between the two truncated pictures, thus allowing half the picture to form an angle inferior to 180¡ with the other half, and by so doing breaking the plane.
I thus obtained two angled diptychs, two pictures of the same space, one the mirror image of the other, but with different lighting and different permutations of the objects on the floor to break the continuity.
By bringing the two diptychs closer together I ended up with a kind of screen.
In the outside shutters, on one side and the other, we find the same little door, the central shutters reveal two images of the same adjoining room, one lit from the left, the other in shadow from the right. The direction of the light reinforces the illusion of several interlinking spaces.
This installation no longer gives prime importance to a central vanishing point but creates multiple points which leave the viewer, when moving laterally in front of the screen, with the impression of actually moving around within the picture.
"Modern Landscapes"

L’intérêt que je porte aux architectures modernistes des années 20-30 m’a
amené à rechercher des photographies noir et blanc d’époque, prises
souvent en cours ou en fin de chantier.
J’y ai observé une constante : les bâtiments semblent y surgir d’un no man’s
land, les sites sont encore en périphérie, en voie d’urbanisation et la
végétation y est rare.
Avec le recul du temps on hésite à y voir une construction prometteuse
d’avenir ou un début de ruine à l’abandon.
Les automobiles, peu nombreuses à l’époque, trônent quelque fois fièrement
à l’avant-plan des images en l’absence de leurs riches propriétaires.
C’est l’atmosphère étrange qui émane de ces vues, non sans une certaine
parenté avec les tableaux de Hopper, qui m’a motivé pour entreprendre cette
nouvelle série de photographies.



The abiding interest I have in modernist architecture of the 20s and 30s led me to look for black
and white photographs of the periodÕs architecture, often taken during the construction of the
building or at the end of the building process.
One thing was common to them all: the buildings seemed to spring up from a no manÕs land, the
sites were peripheral, in the process of being urbanised, and vegetation was scarce.
With the passing of time one is unsure whether one is looking at a building with a promising
future or a neglected building that will fall into ruin.
Cars, still quite rare at the time, sit imposingly in the foreground of the pictures, in the absence
of their rich owners
The weird atmosphere that emanates from these pictures, not without a certain affinity to that
found in the paintings of Hopper, is what inspired me to embark on this new series of photographs.