François Deladerrière was born in 1972. He graduated from the Arles National School of Photography in 1999. He currently lives and works in Arles, continuing his personal research and producing commissions which are usually related to the landscape. (Nice et Savoie, Un Regard Contemporain ; Ugine, Une Ruée Vers l’Acier). He was recently invited to Burkina Faso by the French Institute in Ouagadougou. He regularly participates in group shows (L’Image Comme Lieu, Michele Chomette gallery, Paris ; France Territoire Liquide, Lille) and solo exhibitions. Today we take a look at his series titled, Delta.
I would like to produce images that don’t add themselves to other images, photographs that retain, that resist, that would keep someone’s interest. I don’t take many pictures. I walk, I drive, I seek. I like to get my equipment ready in the same way an illustrator would sharpen his pencils before getting to work. I put my films in their chassis, it’s important for me to expose analog film. It’s not only about quality or even about the result, it’s about the image in the box, there, latent. I use a large format camera. Using that camera is like a ritual. You have to put that voluminous camera on a tripod. Having to take time for technical aspects slows the moment of the shot down so the observation moment is slower too.
I like to think about the stories of the places I’m photographing. I’m looking for the memories of the stories in the landscape. I, or rather something, stops me when I recognize something in the landscape. It can be an object, architecture, a shape. Most of the time, it’s something that was left behind and that no one usually cares about. I am drawn and touched by those decayed shapes – a dead tree, a ruined house, a closed factory, a bunker, a wrecked car in the darkest depths of a garden. All those objects carry a story with them, a depth, a singular strangeness. I shoot those shapes frontally, the frame must be forgotten so the focus is on what’s being photographed.
A photography is successful when what I choose to represent becomes a sculpture, a “readymade” just by calling it that through photography. To do so, I photograph without thinking about a unity of place or subject. The images gathered up in a series take an unexpected meaning thanks to their complete autonomy and their juxtaposition. By photographing ordinary things in the landscape, I want to see them being transformed into silent mysteries. My photographs are almost made into a square. I want them to be like blocks, like rocks that you would pile up to create a seawall.
I would also like those photographs to be like blocks of time, time that would stretch out again and again until giving the impression that it stopped.
I fight with color – I like when there is not much of it. That’s why I often shoot at twilight. I like the first and the last glimmers of the day. I like the excitement and the urgency of having to work in this quick moment, after waiting for a very long time.
My first motivation is not geographical, even though I would like for each image to be related to documentary since my work focuses on the idea of landscape and territory. Secondly, my photographs are not autobiographical even if they are the consequence of a singular way of looking at the world. Finally, my work is not just a research for what’s aesthetically pleasing, because to choose the pictures that I’m keeping and then that I’ll be showing, those three aspects have to be there. And those are the ideas I keep in mind when I take a picture.
In 2003, he and three other photographers (Géraldine Lay, Céline Clanet and Geoffroy Mathieu) temporarily joined forces to explore their respective approaches. This resulted in several exhibitions and a collective book entitled Un Mince Vernis de Réalité (A Thin Veneer of Reality), published by Editions Filigranes in 2005.
The themes he explores are generally related to the landscape; for example, he produced a series of photographs of the A40 motorway (between the Rhône valley and Chamonix), and a photographic study of the Alps.
In addition to this documentary-style work, François Deladerrière continues to develop his personal research. Various series (L’Illusion du Tranquille, Un Mince Vernis de Réalité ) associate views of details, portraits and landscapes. These pictures with no obvious main theme are removed from the context in which they were taken and juxtaposed to create atmospheres—the beginnings of stories that hint at a world view that is part gentleness, part anxiety.
To view more of François work please visit his website.