The Flowers of Evil
2020 – Photographs
55 days of isolation. 55 days of opening up to my world, which is distorted and revealed before my eyes.
At first, dismay, anguish.
Photographing. From the first day. My closed horizon. The flowers on the balcony of my Parisian flat and my few indoor plants.
Then the flowers wither, pass away and I have to look for them elsewhere. Venturing into the courtyards of buildings, into empty streets, looking for flowers at the foot of trees, in windows that seem to have been abandoned.
The search becomes more and more obsessive as time goes on.
Time passes, finally.
Infinite, it ends one day.
I frame tightly, as close as possible to the flowers. With each flower, an amorous encounter, risky, that must be initiated. Photographing at skin level. To track down the flashes of beauty and fragility, to decipher the obscure. I search, experiment, at night, during the day. Photos in colour, in black and white. Interior night or exterior day. And vice versa. Overexposed or very dark. Dark. Or sensual. Most often both.
I take the time to look deeper into myself, I travel into another space seeking another connection with nature and my inner landscapes. My view of flowers is renewed as I discover myself with them.
In these images I tried to reveal the ambivalence of the moment. The emptiness and the (too) full, the absence and the excessive presence of these flowers that fill the frame. Mostly overflowing it.
But beauty can become threatening, poisonous, mortifying, danger intrudes everywhere. Everything is ephemeral, fragility and non-permanence are palpable through these transparencies, these unctuous petals and these mistreated stems, shaken by the wind, these infinite blurs, these disturbing and elusive shadows. The virus can take the form of a dandelion flower, beautiful, fragile, ethereal and threatening. How to know?
My first photographic series, made in the urgency of the moment, in the need to stay in touch with this deformed world, which we no longer recognize, for which trust has disappeared. In connection with my loved ones through these photos posted on social networks.
These photos then escaped from the digital screens to reveal themselves in a different way and unfold freely on the pages of a book: Les fleurs du mal (Le Bec en l'air Editions, 2020).
Read Marion Scemama's article presenting the series
in 9 Lives magazine by clicking here.