Carte Blanche: Cléo-Nikita Thomasson: Rock Mapping

Carte Blanche: Cléo-Nikita Thomasson: Rock Mapping
Carte Blanche: Cléo-Nikita Thomasson: Rock Mapping

The Eye of Photography opens the third chapter of its new section with the support of MPB, the “Cartes blanche”. Each month, a French photographer will show a new series of his hands as well as his gaze, thereby trying his hand at equipment loaned by the international platform for the purchase, resale and exchange of photographic equipment.

After discovering the Marseille seaside and the Mare Internum project of photographer Julia Gat, Cléo-Nikita Thomasson remains in the Mediterranean in search of young Corsican islanders. But the youth is absent, or on the island, having become scattered and invisible. Failing to find their faces, she encounters the landscapes. Armed with Fuji GFX 100, his journey from villages to valleys becomes in images and words an intimate quest, in the surf of his own memories.

Travel to Corsica in search of island adolescence.
Notes by Cléo-Nikita Thomasson

“—More wildflowers populate the mountain and sea landscape than the young islanders.

— Going to Tollare, a village on the Corsican Cape, I meet an elderly woman who lives there, she tells me about Algeria: the coasts meet the horizons, seven inhabitants a year, no more young people.

— Go to Lozzi at the foot of Monte Cinco, come across Jean, a villager who tells me that there are only forty of them left here, no more young people, sadness in his voice: the emotions and the geographies respond to each other “all have the blood of shepherd in the Balagne valley”, more than a thousand people before 1914.

— From the continent I fantasize about a youth far from cities on the islands.

— Replace faces with landscapes if you cannot find young people.

— Island place between sea and mountains.

— The medium of photography represents this void, this disappearance, very well, through the silence of the tool:

“Silence of the photo. One of its most precious qualities, unlike cinema and television, which must always be silenced, without success. ” Jean Baudrillard

Rocks in my work take up a large place, for their silences, their millennial ages, their eternities.

Frozen in time, eroded by water, rain, wind, salt, sun.

The words appear in me: canyon, pass, crevasse, cliff, cave, mountain, ravine, reef, rocks, stones, pebbles, pebbles, crack… And I find them near waterfalls, rivers, waterfalls, valleys, seasides, perched landscapes, where there are waves, tidal waves, raw waters.

Look for details, textures to have reminiscences, to feel the senses.

Fango River

“Some places don’t change”

My pilgrimage, my river. Go back up, stop in an anonymous basin of water, then sit on a piece of rock, between water and sun. Sheltered from everything, feeling of childhood, of hidden treasure and envied solitude. The rocks are the same, the water currents too, the light passes over the same cracks in the cliffs. And by trying myself on this piece of pebbles, by curling up against the warm stone, I rediscover my childhood, my intimate self: the memories, the noises, the smells: my mother speaking in the distance, the smell of sunscreen “Black sun”, intimate thoughts, my light body and my childish gestures.

I change, but this stone does not change. And I go back there to regain a little lost time and live a piece of eternity with these purple rocks.

Mapping childhood.

The island of blue hours

A word, a name, a place, a place readable on my mental map catches my attention, that of a sandbank, a lagoon, a cliff. I see an ancient mythology there, my family memories, my anger, my joys, the beaches of my childhood.

“Homage to the beaches”, “Solar solitude” resonates with me.

I make my first journey with my eyes and then my whole body becomes this island.

My emotions, my sensations, my perceptions make me feel the colors, taste the perfumes, touch the sounds, hear the temperatures and see the noises of this poetic geography.

I violently feel my body existing in my safe place, in this magical, wonderful moment and through my photographs I can cross this world in silence.

The dawns, the bites of the sun, the twilights and the nights punctuate my happy island like talismans.

This cartography reveals my embodied sentimental geography, my sweet fiction, my intermediate space:

The atoll of silence, the waterfall of truth, the valley of memories, the river of regrets, the cliffs of violence, the lighthouse of feelings, the archipelago of scars, the pass of resilience.

And I return to this dreamlike place: to inhabit my archives, my habits, my rituals.

While I believe I am calmly looking at the world, my eyelashes beat 11,500 times a day and with the light I photograph the relics of time with the discreet charms of a previous life.

This twilight photograph carries a melancholy in advance.

It is my landmark, my refuge, my island. »

Cléo-Nikita Thomasson

Born in 1994, Cléo-Nikita Thomasson is a long-term photographer, living and working in Lyon. Like her series “The Lobster Complex” started in 2015 and continued today, where she restores the atmosphere and intimacy of the daily life of adolescents throughout their individual development, she claims the slowness and the duration.

She wears the habit of the observer, that commonly called documentary photography, and which under her eye, borders the fringes of intimacy and ordinary life. His view is inseparable from a writing practice developed in notebooks or on the work itself, where photos-texts, comments and testimonies give the image another psychology.

Co-founder of the Horizon collective, Cleo-Nikita Thomasson has been exhibited at the Larvoratoire Photographique in Douarnenez, at the Chapelle Saint Antoine in Naxos and, among others, at the Biennale de l’Image Possible in Liège.

The artist as The Eye of Photography warmly thanks the photographic equipment resale platform MPB for its support and the loan of the Fuji GFX 100. The “Carte Blanche” section could not be done without their help.

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