Aug 18, 2020
Mathilde is a French photographer who focuses her work on daily life and people in order to explore and capture emotional landscapes. Initially trained as a sociologist, Mathilde discovered her passion for photography when she got an analogue camera at a flea market, providing her a new way to express things. In her series 'Il y a des eaux en nous qui meurent de soif', Mathilde photographs her friends before she departed on a long journey, portraying in this way the uncertainty of the future and in a more general way, the uncertainty faced by young people when growing up.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
MG - Thank you for having me ! I’m from Nantes, a city in the North West of France. Born in 1991, I grew up nearby on the countryside close to the Loire river. I first studied sociology and then photography. After graduating, I traveled and lived abroad for a while in countries like Turkey, Canada and Greece.
At this moment, I work on diverse projects with photography and in a high-school as an educational assistant.
am - How did you start in photography?
MG - I started photography during my sociology degree kind of by accident. I bought an analog camera at a flea market and got really excited about it. I photographed for several months and realised quickly I wanted to learn more and applied for photography studies.
It was a really moving moment for me because I had found a way to express things I didn't even know were there. For me it’s a fantastic tool to connect yourself with others and a wonderful way to have a good excuse to go wherever you want to go and with whoever intrigues you.
am - What inspires your work?
MG - My work mainly focuses on daily life, on the ordinary. More specifically, I try to look for the body’s vulnerability, the emotional landscapes, like a track, like an intimate geography. I like to think that landscapes are skins and skins are landscapes. Nature and people are really important for me to be creative.
Using generally analog, I mix formats (square, 135 mm) as well as color and black and white. It gives me freedom and spontaneity and increases this organic way to connect with mental pictures.
I’m very inspired by movement and dance these days, as well as by memories and stories. I think I would like to experiment more mixing sounds and photography, and to experiment directly on prints. To explore different thing photography can offer.
am - What is "Il y a des eaux en nous qui meurent de soif” about?
MG - « Il y a des eaux en nous qui meurent de soif » means « there are waters in us that are dying of thirst ». It’s a series that represents my friends and I, taken in winter three years ago. It was a moment just before I left for Canada, so I wanted to take pictures of them to bring them with me in a way. On a deeper level it represents the beauty of the uncertainty of the youth. For me, we are living in a time that is quite difficult to construct yourself as a young adult. The uncertainty of the future brings us into a strange feeling sometimes. Like an in-between moment, I feel like we are wondering where to put all of that energy we have. It goes with the slowness of the winter. I think you can feel that in those pictures.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
MG - These days, I am really moved by the work of Lara Gasparotto, a Belgian photographer who paints on her photographs. Jordanna Kalman does also a very inspiring work that takes photography to another level. And to name a few artists: the choreographer Pina Baush for a unique eye for movement, Chris Marker for his beautiful way to document and the painter Paul Delvaux for his imagination.
am - What is your favourite movie?
MG - Oh, it’s too difficult to choose just one ! My favourite directors are Jim Jarmush and Andreï Tarkovski. To name just films I would say the amazing 'Paris Texas' by Wim Wenders and the more recent but beautiful French movie 'Ava' by Léa Mysius. Both shot in analog, the colors and the framing are brilliant.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
MG - Recently I had a big crush for the editor VOID based in Athens. The book « The Splitting of the Chrysalis & the Slow Unfolding of the Wings » featuring the work of Yorgos Yatromanolakis is very sensitive and the final object really highlighted it in a nice way.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
MG - Thank you so much for this opportunity.