One of many international submissions was a delightful little book by Coralie Fournier-Moris from Nantes, France called Autodafé. She created and self-published the book as a way of working through the “chances, encounters, and discussion that accompany the ending of a significant relationship. The books a wonderful size (6×6″) for such an exploration and is filled with intimate black and white photographs that become obscured in their making through the use of long-exposures. She says of the book it is an
“autobiographical work where the intimacy of the body and its experiences are staged in a poetic way. Manipulated and distorted, the body becomes a ray of light. The result is intended to strike a balance between physical torture and photographic magic.”
I had the chance to talk with Coralie, but since I don’t speak French and her English is only slightly better than my French the dialogue wasn’t as great as it could have been, but it remains an interesting discussion that I hope you enjoy.
TP: Can you tell us about your background and the origins of your interest in photography?
CFM: My aunt liked photography and gave me her old cameras. I began making photographs when I was 12. I mainly took photographs on holiday, but would often pose my brother and cousins. Much later, I discovered great photographers like Edouard Boubat and Duane Michals. Photography is a real passion for me.
TP: What path did you take to creating the body of work for Autodafé?
CFM: I made this series of photographies after a break-up with the father of my daughter. I created the layout of the book and decided everything. For printing, I worked with students as they prepared for their BTS exams (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur) in Printing. Their school is next to my secondary school. I am an Applied Arts Teacher.
TP: Can you tell us about the experience of making the work?
CFM: It was a great experience, I didn’t know how Autodafé would be, because it was not an easy work for students, I worked with them and the result proved to be a surprise. Autodafé is a small photo book, and it is like how I imagined it.
TP: What story are you trying to tell with this work?
CFM: I appear in each photograph “as a veritable ode to the other” and for the other. This is a response to the chances, encounters and discussions of a romantic break-up. Autodafé is a self-published book. This is my first monograph and it features black-and-white photographs.
TP: Why did you decide to make the Autodafé into a book?
CFM: The photobook is a great medium to show your work, alone.
TP: How do you prefer to look at images – and why?
CFM: I realize that it’s very classical, but I like to see beautiful prints in a gallery or museum. I very much enjoy viewing historic, vintage prints and it is a great pleasure for me. I find that viewing these old prints as a sign of recognition for the photographer.
TP: What project(s) are on your horizon?
CFM: I am finishing a book La Conception d’Alexandre and am editing a new series of photographs.
TP: What drives you to create photographs?
CFM: It is a necessity for me. They beautify life and provide a voice to tell stories.
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