Cyrille Weiner | Paris, France


Short Bio:

Photographer born in 1976 and trained at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière. His work has been published by numerous international magazines (M Le Monde, Foam, British Journal of Photography, foam, Art Press…) and exhibited at MAC Lyon, at the Rencontres d’Arles, the laurent mueller gallery in Paris and at the Villa Noailles in Hyères. He was the laureate of the Prix Lucien Hervé and Rudolf Hervé in 2012 and the author of Presque île (2009) and of Twice (2015). Cyrille Weiner recurrently poses the question of space, and how individuals appropriate themselves to their living spaces, distanced from directives coming from “on high.” Progressively leaving the documentary register, he proposes a universe crossed by fiction, that he establishes with exhibitions, editorial projects and installations.

What is your work about?

Jour de fêtes
Somewhere at the periphery – between the city and the hinterland – there is a fair illuminated by ephemeral architectures. Attracted by the light above the wood, I’m rushing into it to capture the fluorescent phenomenon and the unexpected urban behaviours.
Impregnated of darkness, my eyes do not perceive the hidden beauty revealed only by the long exposure of the large format view camera. I have to play with my imagination to feel what will appear on the film. The record of the lights and the mechanic moves from the fair reveals some unexpected dreamlands. The light is becoming an artefact and the foliage impregnates the luminous projections as a photographic film.
Exploring behind the scene as the visitor of a theatre backstage or a movie set, I evoke the contemporary mythology of the spectacle city and the way nature is contaminated by artificial environments.
The search of vernacular architectures and spontaneous fictions in the city’s interstices is a recurrent thematic in my works. For many years, I have explored the percolation between city periphery and the hinterland, aiming to find unexpected behaviours in relationship with the border condition.
Fair’s Day gives a new dimension to the research by revealing artefact that would not be visible without the long exposure of the camera. The series pushes the limit between the decorum and the landscape and projects an atmosphere where the limit between fiction and reality is blurred.

How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?

My photographic practise is a contemplative, slow and long term process. I mainly use the analog large format view camera, which has no real equivalent in digital. The use of the view camera helps me to dissociate the camera of my own body. The camera is always on tripod beside me, which help me to conceptualize, concentrate and compose the scene i want to capture. The image is made in my mind, then it is made in the camera. The use of large format film also enables me to make very detailed large prints with a very wide range of tones, from the very deep shadows to the highlights. For the Jour de fêtes series i could get details in the very dark areas while keeping the brights highlights full of details. The negative gives me all the material i need to complete my pictural approach in the printing process. The range of colors the negative captures enables me to define very precisely the colors i want in the final print. This is closer to painting. Beside of these technical reasons, my art practise of re-collecting pictures from different series and making bridges between different bodies of works, is made easier by the physical materiality of my analog archives.