“Le silence de mes nuits” by Clément Collange

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Hi, Clément.

Well,let’s get started from the beginning: what inspired you for this project?
My inspiration was following a series called “twelve gasoline stations”: I traveled the highways to photograph service stations in the manner of Ed Ruscha.
Later I noticed that many objects in those areas were not lit and stay in the dark. So I launched a new serie inspired by night, and I ended out towns and villages, in periphery.

Clément Collange Clément Collange

Why have you chosen to photograph this night world?
my nocturnal photography practice started when I practiced urbex [urban exploration, TN], this practice needs not to be seen and at night our perception of space changes.

Clément Collange Clément Collange

Why did you choose the title “Le silence de mes nuits“?
the choice of the title of the serie is done naturally: at night all is calmer: everything becomes almost abandoned: for example, think about a shopping center in the day that at night will become a no man’s land.

Clément Collange Clément Collange

You said that the subjects of the photos were inspired by your meetings but also from your past experiences, like if there is a correlation between these objects and yourself. Can you tell us more?
These encounters with these object are not pre-established. It is a form of aesthetics:if the object responds well to the light that I apply to it on the moment, I keep the picture…there were a lot of failed attempts!
in any case, the objects photographed were found in darkness at night, and neglected for their form or function during the day. It was a way to put them in the spotlight, a bit like in the cinema or the theater.

Clément Collange Clément Collange

At first glance, you remind me to Caravaggio. Probably you know, but he reveals only specific portions of the painted scene from a dark background, thus acquiring an almost sculptural relief. Your photo give me the same feeling.
Caravaggio may be a very good example indeed, howeve rmy references will rather be oriented towards artists photographers like Olivier Metzger and Gregory Crewdson. I want light to be the main subject of my work, the objects presented in this series are only a pretext to show the work of light.

Clément Collange Clément Collange

Another impression one gets from your work is that it’s like if you are trying to demolish reality and then reconstructing only what really interests you by using light. How much is light important in your photos?
As I said , the light is the first and main element. It makes it possible to deconstruct the territory, something I had aleady noticed when I was photographing the services the stations.
To destroy the territory or to rebuild it in a different way is rather funny.The first question that I always get asked is: ‘where did you take these pictures?’ Maybe being given a location has a reassuring effect.

Clément Collange Clément Collange

Now some structural questions: why are your photos are set in France, far from the city lights?
And here we come.lol
As a matter of principle I avoid city centers, too enlightened by extreme urbanism.
I prefer to be in the deep periphery of the cities and the villages, which are more poor in artificial light. It’s easier to lose the marks of pre-existing things and see everything with a fresh look.

It was a pleasure to read your questions.

Clément Collange

All images © Clément Collange / Instagram: @konwalsky
Interview by Marta Mauriello – Translated by Claudia Russo

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