International Collaboration is the work of three photographers. Francisco Diaz, Deb Young, and Agnès Courrault. Three photographers that formed an international “studio” thanks to the internet.
Rfotofolio is pleased to share the work and words of each individual photographer, as well as their work as the International Collaboration.
Today we bring you the work of Agnès Courrault
Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in Paris. My family was a musical one, my mother was a pianist and my grandfather was an enlightened amateur photographer. During walks with him, we had to wait long moments before he took a picture. I think that his work inspired me for a long time without wanting to admit it.
When I was a teenager, my father gave me his camera, and early on, I ask my friends to pose for me to take their snapshot.
I made pictures … like dreams. But today, I am multiple, I am a traditional Reiki Master, I teach and transmit this practice, I paint, I write … the main thing is the sharing.
How did you get started photography?
When I was 22 years old, I met a photographer who employed me as an assistant and I became a stage photographer. The next year I directed the agency. I covered all the dance and theater news in Paris and I worked in the national press. But it wasn’t enough. There was a lack, something not expressed. Then I began traveling and relating stories by pictures … Stories of wild horses, stories of desert … and then there is Siberia. I was part of the first group who were lead to discover a lost gulag in the depth of a mountain of 3000 meters of altitude, enough to understand all the perversity of a system. So I was going to Moscow, to meet soldiers coming back from Afghanistan. This story was presented in the french press the day of the invasion of the Kuwait by Iraq, in 1990. But something was broken in me like those returning soldiers. I never shot news reports anymore, the war’s breath took me away. I came to live in Arles in France, as one comes back to the mother, as a return to the origin, precious, rooted in myself.
Which photographers and other artist work do admire?
The first book of photographers that interested me was about Diane Arbus. Her style, her approach toward people gave me the desire to be a photographer. Joseph Kudelka is another photographer whose work I like for his exploration of the world of the gypsies. I live in Arles in France, a territory very important to the gypsy people. They are my neighbors, some of them my friends. I like their wild world, free and trap-shy.
I also like the photography of Alexey Titarenko and Robert and Shana Parkeharisson. There are many others.
And what about their work inspires you?
They inspire me with their “poetry”, the essence that each personality comes from outside the mind.
One of my favorite images is from Robert and Shana Parkeharrisson.
When did you start to develop a personal style?
I show my personal style by the choice of my topics. I always had a look that expressed my view, and after some years, I developed other senses internally which helped me make other universes emerge.
If no one saw your work, would you still create it?
For many years I did not show much of my work. It has been like a puzzle where the pieces take a while to place. It is very recent that I really began really showing my work.
Well of course the eyes of others are important, it is the enlightenment of a shared curiosity.
Please tell us about your process and what the perfect day of photography is for you.
It is a day when my mind is clear and silent… So the creative process can happen.
What challenges do you face as a photographer?
Just my own capacity to make art out of the things that I experience.
With the rapid changes in how people make and view a photograph how do you view this time in the history of photography?
It is the notion of space … the same space we cross and where we are; this territory that transform itself in a world of time, the time of the immediacy of the news shared. We were people of the space and we are becoming people of the time, that change all the marks. Photography will find its place, not in the History, but in an other world, done by superimposed realities in which each person will find both things, his own expression way and the spectator will adjust his lenses to the line of the time he would want to participate.
How do you over come a creative block ?
There is always the wish to share inner thoughts that can be unruly and revolted, to disclose some of my own arcane universe.
How does your art effect the way you see the world?
I am always amazed at what I produce artistically and how my eyes to the world is renewed in every moment all the time. My photography shows the world in its impermanence.
Is there another type of photography or subject matter you would like to tackle?
I started working around water with Gal Axis” exploring the idea that these billions of points … of bubbles exploding in the universe, in our bodies, on this earth … this matter perpetually driven. The expansion of light energy offers us the opportunity to discover an opening to something else. These images traces the alchemical journey that light the water of life … this time or the substance is so compressed that it is re-converted into primary energy.
Enter in this moment, the perpetual cycle of change. Ask the viewer to look at this awakening, this opening of the moving water will fill with light and cease to exist, without going anywhere. Finally understand that if there is no more resistance in the body … so it can open.
I try to capture these interstices in which these transformations are realized.
You can also learn more about the work of Agnès Courrault by visiting her site. Agnès Courrault