I was born in the late 80’s in Brittany, in the west of France and grew up in the countryside in a family that did not particularly practice photography. Interested in old things and History, I started making a collection of old cameras when I was a teenager. The passion for old things led me to start art history studies: it was my first real contact with images.
I have been an art model for a few years because I did not have enough self confidence to create and show my own pictures, so it was a way to enter in the world of artistic creation. It was during this period that my interest in abandoned places developed, in romantic paintings but also in representations of the human body in art.
I started using my cameras in 2012 and started working in a darkroom: it was a revelation to me. Discovering new means of expression and alternative techniques (pinhole, cyanotype, caffenol and all aspects of the “foto povera”) opened up new horizons. At the same time, I was studying geography and urban planning, but also architecture, at the university. I mainly photographed places, nature, buildings.
My first self portrait was done in 2015 at my grandparents' house. Since then, I have started using my body as a material to make images in different photo projects.
I have quite a few different inspirations, from old cinema (Murnau, Lang, Epstein), photographers (Alix Cléo Roubaud, Francesca Woodman, Duane Michals, Gilbert Garcin, Arno Minkkinen and lot of fantastic photographs of the 60’s) and literature, especially the theme of doppelganger, (E. Poe, Dostoievsky).
I now live and work in Lannion (Brittany, France) and in addition to my professional and artistic activities, I like sharing knowledge and learning new things in a photographers association. Photography is part of my daily life: I like to share my time between shooting (mainly outdoors) and printing photos locked in a darkroom. Film photography is a way to get out of time: I like to be alone making self-portraits.
“If you have ghosts” is a photo project that talks about time: Most of my pictures are taken in spring or summer, when I have enough light, and I spend my winter in the darkroom to proceed to the silver print. Alone.
There is always a time lag between the moment the photo is taken and when the image appears on the paper. My films can wait weeks, or months before beiing processed. Depending on the state of mind in which I am, this allows me to put things into perspective.
The equipment used does not really matter in my work: some images are taken spontaneously (I just pick a basic camera, load it and shoot); sometimes I draw my picture weeks before I shoot, sometimes I use a field camera with paper or film or a pinhole camera. I don’t want to depict landscapes or people as they really are: it is more interesting to mix real with imaginary to create places or characters.
My ghosts also talk about appropriation of space. My first self portrait was done in 2015: my grandparents' house was going to be sold and I needed to fix souvenirs there. Since then, I have started using my body as a material to take images in different photo projects. It was a period when I moved a lot, I was uprooted and I needed to mark my passage in places where I will never return.
My ghostly self-portraits depict my doppelganger frozen in time and space. I like to work on the dilation of time, with figures that become blurred: this makes them timeless, unreal. It is a way of representing yourself without talking too much about yourself.
You can find more of ODNA's work here.