"La source" by Frédérick Carnet

Apr 23, 2018

Frédérick is a French photographer currently based in Germany who creates quiet and meditative images that are a reflection of his own life. In his series "La source", Frédérick portrays peaceful and enjoyable moments in the life of the inhabitants of a small village in France. Through these images we can see and appreciate those small moments that constitute our lives and which, at the same time, create our memories that will stay forever with us.


Following we present a short interview that we had with him:


am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

FC - I am a French photographer based in a small town in Saxony, Germany. I studied law and English at university but I gave up very quickly to follow my wish of becoming a photographer. I therefore worked with Toros Aladjajian in his photolab dedicated to Black and White Photography from September 1995 to January 2002 in Paris. During this period of time, I learned all the tricks and skills about photography. And now, I live in Germany with my wife where I share my time between my personal photographic work and our Klein Garten. I have 2 exhibitions at the moment. One at the Verkehrs Museum Dresden (The Ghost Cars) until the 6th of May and one at the Heinrich Hartmann Haus in Oelsnitz/Erzgebirge (Chroniken Des Absoluten) until the 27th of May.


am - How did you start in photography?

FC- By being in the dark! If I was shooting pictures before I worked with Toros Aladjajian, I consider that my experience in the darkroom was the very serious start. Thanks to Toros and his strong knowledge, I managed to make the link between the darkroom techniques and the shooting techniques. It was great to shoot pictures and already visualizing how my negatives would be and how I would work in front of the enlarger to do my prints. Quickly, techniques became natural and I could then concentrate exclusively on what I wanted to say in my photography.


am - What inspires your work?

FC - My everyday life. Trying to find answers in a world I hardly understand. When you look at my work from my first series «L’appartement 33» to my last series «La promesse d’un monde meilleur?» you could read my life. Each series would be a chapter of it. The art historian and writer, Paul Ardenne, called my photography "the existential image". I think he perfectly defined my work.


am - What is "La source" about?

FC - I started to shoot «La Source» in October 2010 in a village where I settled down after I spent nearly a decade in Paris working as an advertising photographer. It was where my parents and my grandmother were living. When I think about it now, «La Source» was the beginning of a new «era» in my photographic process. I went back to my basics, the reason why I became a photographer: the freedom of being. The series is a narrative sequence of 16 pictures of landscapes and portraits. It shows inhabitants of Saint Marceau (Sarthe) during a moment they enjoy (playing the guitar, scrabble, smoking a cigarette...). A time of peace and calm that everybody needs. You can also feel the quietness in the landscapes. Peace, this is what I needed after the craziness of my Parisian urban life. I could be this kid on his bike on the last picture. Bike that later I took to do 2 long trips of 3 months each, first in Japan (2011) and then in Iceland (2013).


am - How would you describe your visual language?

FC - I don’t know if I have only one visual language. I like the freedom of shooting like I want. Freedom is the heart of my photography, the heart of my life. My ultimate goal.


am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

FC - If I say Alec Soth, you wouldn’t be surprised. But he is not the only one. I like Koudelka and Eugene Richards for their freedom. I like this kind of guys who do their stuff on their own without asking the permission or without following any rules.


am - What are your main interests as an artist?

FC- Looking for my own truth. My inner peace. And in the last years I found them in my Klein Garten and with my wife. We met 4 years ago on the Camino Francès in Spain and got married a bit more than a year ago.


am - What’s your favourite movie?

FC - I have so many! You have to know that when I lived in Paris I had this special unlimited cinema card. I paid 20 € per month and I could go as much as I wanted to the cinema. And Paris is probably the best city to see movies from all over the world. I watched an average of 150 to 200 movies per year. I know, this is a bit crazy. So I’m going to try to name only a few that I can’t do without: "Encounters of the third kind" (Steven Spielberg), "Un singe en hiver" (Henri Verneuil), "Erin Brockovich" (Steven Sodherberg), "Cool Hand Luke" (Stuart Rosenberg), "Clockers" (Spike Lee), "Zodiac" (David Fincher), "La vie d’Adèle" (Abdelatif Kechiche), "Vincent, François, Paul et les autres" (Claude Sautet), "There will be blood" (Paul Thomas Anderson) and the 5 seasons of "The Wire" that I’ve already seen 5 times fully.


am - What is your favourite photo book?

FC - I don’t have many photo books. If I really like "Living Room" by Nick Waplington, I also regret that I didn’t buy "Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue" by Eugene Richards when I had it in my hands in 1994.


am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.

FC - You're welcome.

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