Identities: Aarhus, Denmark – by Christophe Vandon
If you were to capture the identity of a city, what would it look like? Post cards have been around for ages for tourists, yes. However, beyond the purely commercial realm with photos of famous landmarks, what are the emotions and feelings that could be conveyed in a series of artistic photographs? Christophe Vandon, an artist based in France, has one such unique view on various cities that he has visited, titled as “Identities”. In particular, Shrill Cats is featuring his work from the city of Aarhus in Denmark. This series of photos, presented in beautiful black and white, brings us up close with the people of the city and brings together a set of emotions that is normal hidden away in the mundane everyday of city life. Viewed individually, the photos appear to be candid photos that is characteristic of the genre of street photography. Yet, when appreciated as a series, each of these photos represents an emotion that creates the mood that forms the tapestry of the city dwellers’ collective identity. Christophe will be continuing this series with other cities that he plans to visit, and we look forward to seeing the other sets of photos in this series!
Shrill Cats: Tell us about yourself and the source of your inspiration as an artist!
Christophe: With architect’s training, space and people who bring places life are my favourite themes. Naturally and obviously. I need to experience life through lights, movements, colors with a particular attention in the research of the perfect balance.
Shrill Cats: The series “Identities” looks like a candid street photography series at first, but upon closer inspection, reveals a lot more emotions and feelings. What can you tell us about this series?
Christophe: With this series, I’m looking for the expression of the feeling perceived in these places at first. I express also what symptomatic is in these places, lights, colors, space, people, all that makes a place different from others. With an attentive relationship to the other that can be lived daily in north Europa, I’m talking about expression of the diversity of population, the mutual respect and peace. I don’t speak about the best of all worlds, it’s not the subject. The search for balance in the graphic composition of pictures enables to exceed the natural of these daily scenes full of normality.
Shrill Cats: You are a painter as well as a photographer! Do you approach photography differently than painting? How do you decide on which medium to use?
Christophe: Painter for many years, the motivation to work on representation was a profound need that always guides my life. The paintings have answered some personal questions from within and create my own fabricated world. The photography connects me at the others and translates what I see from this real world. It’s really two meanings to experiment myself, but even with the same desire to represent. Paintings and photographs are always done trough my eye.
Shrill Cats: If you could express yourself through any one artistic medium only, would it be photography, or something else like writing, music, etc.?
Christophe: Hard question or impossible answer for me! Painting and photography are so closely intertwined and complementary. Perhaps the words can wait, but I like so much play with words. In a perfect world, it could be a mix of paint, photo and writing, but with an independent life for each of them. No words in painting, no painting in photography….
Shrill Cats: What other projects are you working on right now?
Christophe: New projects for pictures in Hong Kong, Stockholm, St. Petersburg and others countries in the next months, with always the desire to find what is symptomatic in these places. In search of an exhibition too, I wait impatiently the publication in Shrill cats magazine!
Shrill Cats: Thank you for your time today, and welcome to the Shrill Cats family.
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