Morgan Roué · Du coeur à l'ouvrage

Dec 02, 2020

Morgan is a French anesthesiology physician and photographer who enjoys the evasion and discovery of new places, and translates this into images with a raw and direct approach. His series 'Du coeur à l'ouvrage'  is a sober and raw testimony of the daily life of health professionals working in cardiac surgery during the Covid-19 pandemic. With an outspoken and authentic attitude, Morgan shows us his daily challenges and at the same time illustrates the multiple emotions that health professionals endure during this difficult time.

am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

MR - Hello Daniel, my name is Morgan Roué, I'm 32 years old and I'm an Anesthesiologist-Intensive Care physician at the 'Bichat Hospital' in the north of Paris. I mainly work in anesthesia and cardiac surgery ICU in this center. Apart from my hospital activity, I have been producing series of analogue photography for several years.


am - How did you start in photography?

MR - I started analogue photography at the end of 2012 by accident : my girlfriend gave me a film camera for Christmas. I started taking pictures initially to please her and I liked it quickly, but I didn't have a lot of time with the medical studies. I really started to get interested in photography in 2017 during my residency. Since then, I have been spending a lot of time on photography.


am - What inspires your work?

MR - So many things are sources of inspiration. Travelling is probably the most important. Evasion and the discovery of new horizons and cultures allow me to return to simple and authentic things. In a way, this is the cornerstone of my work: seeking a form of sincerity and authenticity in my environment in order to transmit it.

am - What is 'Du coeur à l'ouvrage' about?

MR - « Du cœur à l'ouvrage » is a French expression meaning "to put your heart and soul into something". It is a sober and raw testimony of the daily life of health professionals working in cardiac surgery during the Covid-19 pandemic. Teamwork and the complementary roles of the caregivers are at the heart of this work.

In this context, the choice of analogue photography was obvious. This medium allows a raw and authentic rendering, just like my vision of medicine, which can be felt in the grain of the film.


am - What was your motivation behind this project?

MR - Since the beginning of my medical studies, I have always been struck by the hospital's photogenic and especially that of the operating room for its unique light. However, before the epidemic, few photographers seemed to be interested in the hospital environment. So I wanted to explore a topic that is not often covered, with my vision and my experience as a doctor.


am - Has the current situation given you a different perspective as an artist? How?

MR - The idea of the project had been maturing for 3 years, but it was finally with the COVID outbreak, that the series quickly took shape. Looking back at the time, I was probably more inclined to share my daily life with a larger audience, but it was also probably easier to convince the caregivers and partners in this context.

However, I don't think that the current situation has changed my perspective of the series, but it may have changed the shape. Photographs may appear more mysterious or worrying with masked caregivers, recalling the current dramatic epidemic.


am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

MR - I am only going to talk about photography, if I had to give three I would say Henri Cartier-Bresson for the spontaneity, Sebastião Salgado for the landscapes and the use of black and white. To conclude, I think of Steve McCurry for his portraits and his use of colour film.


am - What is your favourite photo book?

MR - Definitively 'Afghanistan' by Steve McCurry and 'Gold' by Sebastião Salgado, more recently 'Les mois noirs' by Stéphane Lavoué.


am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.

MR - Thank you sincerely for highlighting this work! I would also like to thank the partners of this project: 'Lomography France' for the photo films and the laboratory 'Nation Photo' in Paris for the development and digitisation.

All images © Morgan Roué


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