The Sea in Fort-de-l'Eau
The city is along the north coast of Algeria. While looking at the sea you are looking in direction of Europe, and the main idea in the country assimilated to the sea is not sun bathing, fishing or water sports, but migration. And leaving the Africain continent for Europe. By night, a lot of young people try to cross on small boats, they are called Haraga, (people who burn).
I’ve taken this photograpy in 2014, using an analog medium format camera, and a flash light. Composing the picture with the horizon line at the center, a natural point of view.
The flash is just by the camera, wich is a descriptive way of photography a subject. With an high speed an small aperture, the only elements the camera is able to catch are the elements orientated toward the lens. In that situation, the only thing we can see is the foam at the top of a little wave.
Paradoxaly, a very descriptive photographic protocol, while representing a basic element, is producing abstraction.
As an echo of the Becher’s work in which an « in appearence objective photographic protocol », descriptive, representing prosaic objects is producing abstract representations, formal minimalism. I try to reflect about documentary photography, in a subtractive way, and i try to represent contemporary society subjects.
In this photography the sea side is defined by the singular form of the foam of the wave, but this form is isolated, without gravity, and without the perspective offered by the surface of the water, and his ending the horizon line. This commonplace of reverie and poetry is reduced to his material characteristics, and can be thought as the powerfull obstacle it is most of the time.
The Sea in Fort de l’Eau is included in a project called l’Arrière-pays (The back country), started in 2011, nearly closed, in a chapter Environ Alger (Almost Algiers) composed of 19 photographs taken in the Algerian capital between 2014 and 2015.
My work is a documentary photographic work which is questionning social facts, and their representation. My reflection is based on the phylosophical work of Jean Baudrillard, Michel Foucault, and the artistic and critical work of Allan Sekula.
By observing the city as a discriminating system I try to represent the disciplinary nature of our civilisation.
From 2002 to now, I realised my pictures in France, mostly in what we call the « cités » (Projects) around Paris and Lyon, and also in Algiers and Cayenne (French Guyana).