“Artist” Statement

My first photographic and cinematic projects were based on visual materials produced during my research fieldwork as an ethnographer, guided by social scientific canons of how and why to use images for documentation purposes. While relying today on a wide range of practice and media (although using mainly photography), my approach to visuals remains largely in dialogue with what (allegedly) makes the legitimacy of an image and the subversive nature of the knowledge it unveils.

This education and previous research experience led me to consider, and experiment with, the various normative functions assigned to photography. Photographs document reality as it self-deploys through affects, artifacts, and events. They can also unveil powerful ways to create, imagine, empower, and self-reflect, while helping to visualize what would otherwise remain invisible, including forms of trauma. That’s how I came to be fond of poetic documentary genres and experimental techniques (e.g., analog film treatment, thermal imagery), both in film and photography.

This can be highlighted by extreme or limited-access environment photography, such as photographs shot underwater, from high altitude or outer space, and subterranean caves. As an outer space studies scholar and a professional diver, I work with/in these environments as a poetic thread to think Oddness, Otherness, and legitimacy (of practice and knowledge).

More generally, all my audiovisual works are structured and inspired by my analyses and reflections about representations, imaginaries and scientific utilizations of underwater and space environments inherited from a colonial relationship to territories, Otherness and resources. As part of a social history of how extreme environment aesthetics have been shaped through time and space by sensibilities and rationalities of Western modernity, I explore how experiencing these environments remains intimately related to the domestication of species and bodies, leading to various forms of violence, trauma, healing, and regeneration.

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