May 27, 2019
Camille is a French artist who works with mix media and particularly enjoys creating books as the perfect support for her work. In her practice, Camille utilises archival images, found footage, texts, graphic interventions and her own pictures, creating in this way compelling narratives that are in between fiction, narrative and memory. In her series "Appelez-moi Voctoria", Camille traces her own history, investigating the migration of her ancestors as well as the forgotten aspects of her family history, resulting in a fascinating journey of visual archaeology.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
CC - My name is Camille Carbonaro, I was born in 1989 in Marseille. I’m a photographer, author and publisher based in Brussels. In 2016 I founded my self-publishing house "Macaronibook" and also "EAT MY PAPER", an itinerant and eclectic self-publishing and micro-publishing platform that offers workshops and reflects on independent publishing. I’m graduated with a BA in Applied Arts from the University of Nîmes and a BA in Photography from l'ESA le 75 in Brussels and from the University Paris VIII.
My photography projects revolve around fiction, reality and poetry while the image-document is strongly present. Identity, memory, self-construction and exile are my particular interests. Mixed media – photography, writing, alteration of archives, embroidery, printing experimentation – is essential to developing my projects. The book object is also at the heart of my process: the harmony between paper and picture.
am - How did you start in photography?
CC - I started photography when I was 10 years old with my white plastic Kodak. I photographed my hens in the garden, presages of my passion for documentaries.
When I was 20, as part of my BA in Applied Arts I took an internship with Baudouin, a press and publicity photographer based in Paris. It was a wonderful experience discovering the analogue camera and 6x6 film.
am - What is “Appelez-moi Victoria” about?
CC - Appelez-moi Victoria is a visual archaeology that explores elements of memory, genealogy and exile. The project raises the more general questions on the above, taking the Italian immigration in France and its impact as a starting point. I address issues of self definition, the discovery of one's own roots and indeed my own generational journey and what is meant by historical memory.
I balance between reality and fiction, between research and personal quest, on psychic and mystical levels, concerning my origins. I create a composition of elements assembled from children immigrants’ stories while exploring my own memories evaporated in time. Inspired by the theories of Alejandro Jodorowsky on psycho-genealogy and psycho-magic, this project is an investigation of forgotten aspects of my family history. Appelez-moi Victoria is a hymn to tales and roots, striped of patriotism and nationalism, which underlines issues of immigration, a rather sensitive and time relevant subject.
This project is also about emotional legacy. It’s about a ritual passage which has left its signs, its marks, for future generations to witness but never live again.
Why abandon our roots on the border? Children of exile, what will our heritage be?
I carried out this project as part of the "Residence 1+2 Photography & Sciences" in Toulouse in 2018, and was published by "Filigranes" in the collective book box « L’Origine Manquante » with Smith and Prune Phi.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
CC - Without hesitation, Sophie Calle is my favourite artist. She gives documents, writing and archives an important place, and she works as a private detective as much as a psychologist. She’s a multidisciplinary artist who loves encounters and stories. I’m also very sensible to the projects of Rinko Kawauchi, Hervé Guibert, Christian Boltanski, Amak Mahmoodian and Louise Bourgeois.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
CC - I have a lot of favourite movies, like "Le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, "La Danza de la Realidad" by Alejandro Jodorowky, the beautiful movies of Patricio Guzmán ("Nostalgia de la luz" and "El botón de nácar") and all of Wes Anderson’s filmography.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
CC - I’m sorry but I have a lot of favourite photo books and each book inspires my work. I’m doing a small selection here: "Va –t’en me perdre où tu voudras" by Nolwenn Brod (Poursuite), "Generation Tahrir" by Pauline Beugnies (Le bec en l’air), "El Frente" by El Cíclope Mecánico (Ediciones Anomalas), "Out of the blue" by Virginie Rebetez (Meta books), "Aveugles" (Actes sud) and "Rachel Monique" by Sophie Calle (Xavier Barral). My favourite self-published photo fanzines are "Yolanda" by Ignacio Navas and "Azimuths of Celestial Bodies" by Francesco Levy (Zine Tonic).
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
CC - Thanks a lot for the invitation.
All images © Camille Carbonaro