About identité(s)?

Identity(ies)?

The framework of this series features people seen from behind wearing headgear, photographed from the same distance, with the same focal length, in an everyday outdoor environment.

They are thus observed photographically with the same formal objectivity; presenting them on an equal footing, in black and white to reinforce this uniformity.

Individually, the identity of these people is not given to us; being observed from behind they are « identifiable » only by their clothes and primarily by their headgear. The latter can represent a profession, a religion, a geographical origin, others have only a practical purpose.

They also give us information about the person and/or their environment: generational, meteorological, stylistic, functional …

This object, a visual element by which these individuals can be characterised, inevitably leads to their categorisation, having no other elements to which we can relate.

Identity is created out of the visible.

However, this identity, induced by the visible, is reduced to the category created in the imagination. There can be no individualisation, as in a portrait. The individual here is reduced to a group, a type, a community, a label.

There is a questioning of photography, and furthermore, of the visible as a whole, to account for reality on the one hand but also to highlight the mechanism of constructing a truth from simple visual elements on which we project meaning.

It highlights the failure of an « objective », systematic, simplifying, serial and categorical approach which results in a simplification that distorts each element, both in the photographical and social sense.

This series questions us, as spectators in the broadest sense, about our capacity for analysis and judgment.