March 8, 2012

« The best things in Life aren’t things » (from Art Buchwald)

The time has come to start the third year project*.

This « Un an plus tard » project has been intense and profoundly interesting! What were the chances of getting on well with all 40 of them** ? Before opening the door, I always had the same thought « what happens if we don’t connect ? » but with each one of them I came away with the impression that they taught me something… The most impressive thing is their maturity. All of them.  I am around 10 years older than most of them and I have the impression that some of them are significantly wiser than me ! Another interesting fact is that they weren’t materialistic at all. I don’t know if my intuition tells me to choose unmaterialistic persons in the street or if all young people are much more concentrated on aspects of life that truly matter but almost all of them told me that they didn’t really care about material things. Kind of paradoxal for a project about stuff and items but that’s what made the encounters so much richer than I had imagined.

By the way, on a more photographic subject, I know now that I hate taking pictures of non-humans ! It’s difficult, boring, annoying,….no more ! 

When I started making these pictures I didn’t know how far I could go, how far I could slide myself into the world of these anonymous persons I ‘randomly’ picked off the street.

After 2 years I do know them a little better – but a great way to  understand a person better, I think, is to meet a good friend of theirs and immortalize their relationship. Personally, I couldn’t imagine my life a single second without my friends. True friends are the ones who accept you exactly as you are. I even start thinking that I prefer the imperfections in them to their qualities….but that’s also what I prefer in beauty so maybe it’s not a very objective thought.

Perhaps controversially, I do not believe in the notion that « a true friend is one you can turn to in times of difficulty. » I’m more into the idea that a true friend is one who gets genuinely happy for you when a great thing happens! Being compassionate towards someone who is suffering is kind (not everyone would do it) but not that difficult. Everyone prefers to have a friend who is going through a difficult time than to be the one in that position – it may even make us feel better about our own life. But the contrary doesn’t work. When someone is succeeding, it’s human to feel a little jealous and thus quite difficult to embrace that joy. When it’s a true friend who is going through that marvelous moment, there is a part of you who feels inextricably the same euphoria.

Ok… Enough with the corny theorising…

The picture I am about to post is actually a photographical test I made with my new camera. I didn’t intend to place it on the website because I made the second portrait of Sophie a few months ago, but at least you have a teaser. I hope you will enjoy the rest of the series. If there are other questions you would find it interesting to ask them, please let me know.

I would just like to end with this note***. I read an article the other day that gave me the  chills. Apparently in France, one person in ten has only 3 personal conversation per year. This solitude doesn’t apply only to older people. “Of the 4 million French people who feel solitude, 1 million is under 50 years and 2 million under 60.” Why have our minds closed so much ? It’s actually so easy to start conversation with a stranger. It would improve life so much if people stopped being so scared. Besides what everybody thinks, the majority of people are profoundly good ! So please, if there is someone in your environment (a neighbour, a person you cross each day in the street, someone who seems lonely in the metro…) try to make a small talk with him or if you are really shy just smile at the person.


* Yes I am definitely late. I should have started in January !

** Some Pictures from « One year later » still need to be made – I am almost finished!

*** I am sorry about all my lectures today …talking to 3 year-old children all day is damaging what remains of my neurons.




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