FABIEN FOURCAUD | PARIS, FRANCE
Fabien Fourcaud is a French self- educated photographer born in 1979. He spent his childhood on the French Riviera and has been living and working in Paris since 2007.
Gilles Deleuze’s writings paved the way to his defining a new concept of representation and photographers party to the exhibit New Topographics, such as Stephen Shore and the Becher’s, weighted significantly on his practice of photography.
Fabien Fourcaud focuses on endlessly tracking breaking points as well as blurred areas within landscapes. He bears particular attention to non-places and likes to highlight the thin barrier between presence and absence, the real and the virtual.
What is your work about?
Zoos and museums of natural history have in common to sacralize nature, choosing artificial landscapes over storytelling. However, instead of protecting it they prefer their reproduction, or more precisely reproducing the idea of nature.
What do we call landscape? This is not a nature fragment we can embrasse directly, but a mental construction linked to our sensible and cultural relationship with the nature. Thanks to perspective all nature objects are linked in a logical and consistent system, so we don’t see isolated things but links between each. Dioramas in museum of natural history and zoos are small landscapes where everything is done to make the illusion accepted by our reason. Paintings and objects are linked together thanks to perspective, textures and lightning. In my photos different layers merge together, these layers are produced by the collaboration of a painter, a craftsman, an artisan and a photographer. Each of them enrich the image with a new level of representation. The communication between each layer in not only the result of the perspective but also the result of the repetition of the same gesture. One paints rocks on the wall, the other paints on rocks and i paint my photos thanks to post edit. Each new layer of representation generates a new reality. We’re facing landscapes that seems to take their independence from the initial scenography intention, it is no more reproduction. These simulacra instead of preserving the idea of nature succeed to shake it by redefining our relationship to landscape.
How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
I’m working with a Hasselblad 500cm with a film back. It might not be the best camera for the kind of projects i’m working on but this is the tool i love and i’m used to. First it is heavy and slow, when I’m saying slow I speak about the camera settings but also the way the image is created in your mind. It’s really important for me to have no preview of the final photo except the viewfinder. The image is not instant, nor forgotten, it grows slowly inside you till the day you have a second preview of it on your negatives and the final scan. It’s a really slow development that helps me to forget the image itself, the way i construct it, and makes me concentrate on my sensible connection with the environment and my subject.