En quête du village de Paul Strand
Regards du Grand Paris #5 - Atelier Médicis / Cnap
National commission from the Cnap (Centre national des arts plastiques) and the Ateliers Médicis
in 2022 I began a journey. I was photographing a trampoline on the corner of a garden and a winterized swimming pool. With my 8x10 camera, a little intimidated, I pushed myself a bit, convinced that I wouldn't have the opportunity to come back there. It was a bit difficult for me to find this garden, people at the village town hall hardly remembered. On this late afternoon, after harassing the owner, I finally crossed the gate and recognized the house and the windows of his studio but a cut lawn had replaced the wild nature, the real garden of Paul Strand projected out of space and time was invisible.
Last year, as part of a national commission on the Grand Paris territory, I felt the need to return, as a healing and melancholic tribute to the work of the American master who marked the history of photography with his modernist approach and social commitment. Strand's ascetic demand appeared to me highly necessary in an era when an image onslaught tends to remove any meaning from photography.
I followed in his footsteps in the streets of Orgeval. Near the church, at 26 rue de la Chapelle, I passed la boucherie de l’avenir, and thought I saw Strand with his wicker basket in his right hand, wearing a beige long coat and a beret screwed upon his head. A few weeks later, I was able to track Jacques Forin, Paul Strands’s and Hazel Kingsbury’s doctor, who at 94 could accurately remember his patient. I was able to photograph his hands ravaged by the marks of age.
This project is undergoing since in France driven, by the desire to create a dialogue with my own country.
Shot in analog 8x10. Platinum Prints 8x10 by Christophe Batifoulier.