Travel is a classic of all kinds... literature, cinema and photography have relied on this concept almost naturally... as the sea happens to the beach, the sun to the desert. A trip is an exploration, a story, a tale. It gives the viewer a life plot where drama and adventure mix, and when time is no longer in time... it is a ship that sails aimlessly, an imaginary concept of itself.
Analyzing your work and seeing it in perspective, how does your personal life story affect your photography?
To put it simply, I am happy and I always felt like I couldn’t do or be anything if I wasn’t happy inside.
When I was younger, like most people, there was this one question people always asked : ”What do you want to be when you grow old?”…
It never really made sense to me if I am being honest, I just wanted to be happy as far as I can remember. So I worked hard at that, knowing myself and creating a life I love so much.
How to make your photography transcend the limits of the aesthetics, advertising, the “hashtag” and ensure that it is not cataloged, pigeonholed or labeled as such?
You got a point there !
Let’s just take Instagram, I try to respect myself a lot since the booming of social media, posting things I love, and try and stay coherent in my vision and work. I don’t want to just surf on a trend, like the outdoor one at the moment for example.
So i'm not as present as others can be on the media therefore I do not get as much visibility but I do believe that in the long run, keeping it real has more meaning and is a lot more “balanced” If that makes sense.
What place does “summer” have in your life? This question arises because we see a very marked interest in Surf and life on the coast. What do those landscapes have for you?
For the last 2/3 years, summer has had an important place in my life since I have been living between the northern and southern hemisphere 6 months at a time, the real endless summer.
But then again, It’s not necessarily by choice since somehow and endless summer becomes boring after a while. I come from the coast in France and over there really are 4 distinct seasons that do affect your moods and life in general.
I grew up being in the city during the week and going away every weekend to the coast and ocean, so I really need both the city and the coast to be happy and the seasons of course.
And as for surfing and its way of life, my passion for it knows no seasons.
Speaking of the times that are running, what is the final message of your work?
My work showcases human oppositions in two distinct environments, the city and desert type scenery.
Lately I have been working on an itinerant series, PARADE, the idea is to catch a glimpse of human movements in a natural yet hostile environment, the ocean.
The aim is to bring a different view on surfing, more graphic and poetic and only in black and white.
Looking forward to talk about it once its finished.
Mini-bio: Fabien Voileau is a 33-year-old French photographer. After a decade of perfectioning his style, he has seen his work gain notoriety in Europe. Fabien left school at a very young age. He spent his youth on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, on the west coast of France, more interested in motorcycle rides, surf sessions and fishing parties than in school. He began photographing by borrowing a 1980 Canon AE1 camera from his father. He still keeps it.
In 2007, Fabien Voileau decided to leave the French countryside that saw him grow to live in Australia.
His photographs allow us to experience the simple happiness of amazement, the joy of the different mornings, the drunkenness of the open air.
When he is not traveling, Fabien Voileau divides his time between Paris, France and Auckland, New Zealand.
He is member of the Hans Lucas studio and the French collective Air Club of the magazine Les Others.
Photographs courtesy of Fabien Voileau.
Interview by Marcio Parks & Juan Cruz Molas y Molas.
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