Snowy evanescence
Snowy evanescence, Aubrac, France, 2015


The amateur photographer that I am must produce a non-compliant photographic work. For example, I reject the specific irony of certain forms of contemporary art. I develop an expressive approach in what is most ordinary, trivial, but most elusive and anti-picturesque. I share with existentialism, the economy of means, the formal and significant reduction. But the formal reduction has nothing to do with conceptual minimalism. I like the degree of abstraction and the intensity of the sketches. I aspire to an abstract and stripped-down expression. Sometimes the wastelands of blur appeal to me.

A practice of a graphic and pictorial photography

Architect by training, I apprehend the photographic medium in an approach close to architectural design. I analyze the place to soak up its essence and try to collect the part without ever losing sight of the whole, the spirit of the forms.
In a formal radicalism, getting closer to the currents of thought of minimal art, I favor the expressive and graphic power of the landscape and a deeply personal relationship with the place, which takes precedence over the realistic approach, so that the emotion emerges from first, before slowly emerging and imposing itself on the gaze. “We are going to serenity by simplifying ideas and plasticity” (Matisse). I have a deaf attraction to austerity. The essence of my work resides in the way the subject dissolves in space. "Enhancing simple compositions, pure lines and primary colors, seeking balance in the entropy of life" (Hartung). I like to explore the theme of emptiness, that of calm and the absence of human traces. I give a lot of importance to working on “composition” (a word that I like because it evokes the lexical field of music), to achieve an abstract aesthetic.

Poor art. Towards purity and abstraction

I have inherited the principle of absolute minimalism from my past experiences. I will cite two. The first, the most important, was the artistic education acquired from my putative mother, Claude Venot, a painter, who opened me up to a form of minimal art, a balance between the rigor of the line and the play of flat areas of color. The second, at university, refers to my participation in initiatory research projects in southern Algeria, which put me in contact with primitive civilizations living in osmosis with a thankless and magnificent environment, the Saharan oases, in a total economy of resources. They had nothing, they gave me everything. There was nothing, but the world was complete.
Since then, I have become a fierce supporter of "Low Tech", the best way to concentrate the idea on itself. Say a lot with little. The more limited are the means, the stronger is the expression. I seek to graphically reduce visual information. Reduction is an essential notion because it concentrates the essence of things. It's about forgetting everything that is ornamental, everything that could distract us, to focus only on the essential. A work of elimination and purity, without neither the anecdote, nor the exoticism, nor the picturesque. “We are going to serenity by simplifying ideas and plasticity” (Matisse). Keep it simple: a concentrated simplicity to apprehend the monumental. Minimal art for maximum immersion. A simplification and a (re)framing that only show the essential in eloquent silences. A simplification, a reframing to keep only the main components. “A tunnel vision that excludes a lot in order to see a lot, in absolute concentration” (E. Stoller). In my photographs, I would like nothing to be superfluous, to show an authentic intelligence of the gaze: to make my photos tend towards purity with the appearance of timeless editing. Beyond that, my work often offers the image of the emptiness of spaces, of loneliness, and of wandering. Above all, I like to photograph the presence of the absence (re-presentation). Lighten the image to reach the essential, for example by removing certain objects or presences that are not necessary and that will weigh down my subject. “Abstraction makes absence visible” (Malevich).
Like the Impressionists who abolish the distinction between sketch and finished work, I indeed aspire to an abstract and stripped-down expression. “To abstract is to deepen”, to paraphrase Piet Mondrian. Moving away from the obvious, to get closer to the abstract, I abandon amplitude to focus on the minimum in lines and shapes, without ever getting away too far from reality. I bring the landscape back to abstract structures, focusing as much on composition as on the brilliance and intensity of color. The great geometric rigor of my compositions confines the image to abstraction. My abstract images are deliberately meditative: a simple, ascetic and indefinite composition, capable of arousing a plethora of links, of rapprochements in the viewer. "I transform the sensations that make me vibrate deeply, with artistic justification that my work is not practiced only with a camera, but is nourished with my own view of life, with the music I have listened to, and with the people I loved. (Clausier)

La palme dort
Marine evanescence, Brazil, 2022

The right point of view, the frontality

I claim the dryness of an almost ethereal style. The impression of asceticism is not due here only to the density, to the concentration of matter. It arises from a searching for the right point of view, for the right distance from the subject. The point of view that I choose, is never raised or lowered, it installs the spectator in the image. From the claimed heritage of 19th century photography or the documentary style, I retained a certain frontality, a way of approaching things and people with rigor and distance. When dealing with a frontal subject, the face-to-face is so radical that nothing outside interferes in the image. Prevent leaks, capture and imprison the gaze. I like to isolate the monumentality of frontal or vertical views that block the horizon of the landscape.
Paradoxically, the contour is placed at the center of my work. You have to understand the edges, the limits, including those that we have drawn ourselves (as in Monet's paintings).

The blur

Because the world is flux, waves, because the world is movement, I sometimes like to use grain, blur in my photographs. The blur may restore the subject's intimacy. The blur may give way to deep sensitivity while the too sharp image can paralyze the senses. To blur, to reveal, freeing oneself from the precision, the definition, the tangible, or the prehensible. Knowing in the blur to perceive the shadow of a doubt. In the age of exponential digital progress, photographic images are often too precise and analytical. But the beauty of art, especially of painting, lies in the very great ambiguity that bathes both its production and its interpretation. The beauty of art can arise from this imprecision. My blurred photographs refer to this impressionism, they abandon the line to keep only the essence of the subject. I sometimes like to represent the blur to explore the boundaries between the visible and the invisible. The vagueness favors the imagination. He tells you “to imagine, to wander”! The vagueness is poetry, polysemy, the multiplicity of meanings and resonances: the place left to the other in appropriation and representation. The blur is no longer just a formal category of art, able to challenge the classical figure, it becomes a mode of being of the real. "Without vagueness, we would no longer be human, that vagueness is as necessary to us as food, that we should not despair but rejoice in its irreducibility, intelligence being perhaps only the way to measure it, without however being in what would be another form of its failure. (Marc Richir).