2009 – present
I have been asked quite a few times why I would photograph horizons without any subject, emptiness.
As I was reading a polar, the hero, being pursued by the villains, reached the top of a cliff with no possible escape. He eventually jumped down to death into the ocean far below, not wanting to be captured. I spent hours visualizing what our senses would perceive and remember during the fall to infinity, to the ocean where we would disappear. What lights, what colors remain in the brain during these last few seconds?
With these thoughts in mind, I started my first color project. It is an ongoing project centered on colors mainly, as I find cliffs overlooking the sea around the world.
Anecdotes abounded as the story of M. Aiello. This man was in charge of the various works in the cemetery. As he progressively accumulated enough money to acquire a tomb, he started to build it right away. He went back to Genova in Italy hoping to find sculptures of the various tools he was using. Back in Buenos Aires with his finds, he worked hard to finish his little mausoleum and soon committed suicide to be able to occupy his tomb as soon as possible.
I am looking for cliffs, as tall and remote as possible. Ideally, the cliff would overlook the sea as I do not want any foreground. Light is obviously essential and will determine the extent of the pause, often more than an hour. At the end of the day, it often means I walk back through the night with a flashlight.
FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCE
When I place my tripod a few centimeters from the cliff, I have to concentrate on a slow and methodical workflow. Loosing balance would be fatal to the equipment or the photographer. Fear of heights is overtaken by the intense concentration and when the wind is blowing I wear a harness attached to a fixed rope. I also secure the tripod and the camera following an incident. As I was preparing my equipment for a photo while on a winter trip to Lofoten, I placed my tripod, turned around to take my camera and by the time I turned around to fix it, the tripod had flown away on the frozen lake. It is an embarrassing situation to crawl on the icy surface of a frozen lake, alone in the nature… Since then, I always carry a bag I fill with stones attached to the tripod.
EXHIBITED | PUBLISHED
The pleasure of working with a view camera is unrivalled. The control of the image is directly linked to all the controls and directly visible. What a luxury. However, the digital process is almost seamless, and I was certain to bring back a good file with the correct histogram, and not black negatives…
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