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« PEEL APART » John Counts INTERVIEW of the singer, composer Drou « QU’EST-CE QUI TE FAIT CRIER ? » Morgane Launay INTERVIEW of the filmmaker François Gaillard « MONOLOGUE » Sasa Lazic INTERVIEW of the illustrator Meyoko « MODERN TOKYO » Skorj INTERVIEW of the illustrator Cityabyss « TRIPTYQUES » Tom Spianti INTERVIEW of the illustrator Samantha Zaza « READY-MADE POETRY » Jean-Marie Le Brestec INTERVIEW of the filmmaker Ugo Nonis « TYPO GRAPHIK » Frédéric Desmots INTERVIEW of the stringed instrument maker Charles Coquet



« PEEL APART » John Counts INTERVIEW of the singer, composer Drou


PEEL APART How did you start photography? When I was at university in 2000, I began to think that, rather than sitting around drinking with my friends every day, if I devoted all of my free time to one thing-and focused only on that thing -that I might become really good at something. It was a changing in my way of thinking, but also a rather sudden realization. The fact that it was photography was completely arbitrary. It could have been anything. I knew nothing about photography and had no special connection to it. I spent a lot of time driving the back roads of Alabama taking photos before I developed a coherent aesthetic. I made a lot of bad pictures, but that experience -of just driving around with a camera and thinking of everything as a potential photograph- was really important. Could you explain us how this series was made? Once I began to shoot slides I never went back to negatives, except on rare occasions. So I’ve built up a library of several thousand slides from all over the US... I take these and layer them on top of one another and print the result onto Polaroid peel-apart film with a Vivitar Slide Printer. Sometimes I add other film scraps to adjust the overall density and give the final image some more texture or color. I’m not looking forward to the day when I will no longer be able to obtain polaroid 669 film. Do you have current projects? I’m trying to document the south (in the USA) with the last of my Kodachrome 25. I’m also still making new polaroids, and I’m just starting to explore my new home of Dallas, Texas. It’s a challenging city to photograph, I think.

Original Music Shirt


D R O U & T H E C A N D Y K I D

INTERVIEW Photos by Vinciane Verguethen ©

Two people make it rather small for a band... It was even smaller at the beginning, as I was on my own ! I was longing to play music but somehow nothing would come out when I was alone. I managed to write nothing but a unique song in two years. I needed some support and above all an emotional one. I needed someone that would bolster me and give me the will to go on. Candice was the perfect one. We understand each other, we know each other and we are eager to go on with this project. Where do your songs come from? Like for every other girl, from our love disappointments and hopes (laughs). You both play several instruments... I’m only a beginner with my guitar. Candice had always dreamt of playing the trumpet. And as we both love the sound of accordions or of the brushes on a snare drum or of a mallet on a bass drum, we decided to give it a shot. Your songs are quite floating... It’s funny to say that because I’m not sure our songs are very much floating. Some of them might seem lighter but I still recognize some dark in them. Candice is much more bullish that I am but even when she wrote the lyrics of a song, I still look for all the hidden gloom in them. It might be a wrong habit though. Can you describe the atmosphere surrounding your band? I think the EP’s name - A Dungeon, a Dragon - tells a lot about it. The dungeon because we’re like princesses who sometimes have been locked and who have their dreams of escapes and of charming princes and of wild spaces. A dragon because a lot of dark things seethe and might sometimes explode.



« QU’EST-CE QUI TE FAIT CRIER ? » Morgane Launay INTERVIEW of the filmmaker François Gaillard


QU’EST-CE QUI TE FAIT CRIER ? The story behind this series? Thinking about it, I realize I have always liked taking pictures of wide open mouths, it gives a different feel to a face, and I also like catching those little bits of life, the moments that tell who a person is. Little by little this idea made its way and the project was born. I don’t really recall the very day when I thought “I am going to work on this”. I did a couple of shots, then I started working a bit more on the meaning between the image and what it meant with the models; I worked on the direction and after a while the series took shape. Fear for you means… Fear is a huge handicap, but at the same time it enables you to transcend yourself, to stop it from eating away your life, to live with and conquer it. I am a big sissy myself but I am working on it. At the cinema I usually crush my friend’s arm! Any other emotions to put into images… Madness, the type of gentle craziness one can find, sometimes, in people who are usually sensible! I like that!


INTERVIEW Why choose to be a film director? I have always been fascinated with building fictional universes, in any medium. When I was a teenager, I spent my time drawing cartoons. Most of them were inspired by Comics, especially from Warren Publishing or Elvifrance. They were short horror stories, like “The Fourth Dimension” or “Tales from the Crypt”. But drawing is like writing a novel: after a while this type of solitary activity can become boring. This is why, in order to remain a creator of fiction, I opted to become a director: you are part of a team and you face challenges. Today these challenges spur me on. Without them I think I would just let this side of me slowly die. It’s like a drug to me. And why horror movies? As I said, my first cartoons were based on horror stories. When I switched over to films, I think it came naturally to me. And you know, horror movies are a receptacle for all sorts of fantasies and neuroses. It’s a great outlet. A good horror film can free us from all the tension and bad vibes we had to live with all day long! Your first memory as a member of the audience... I remember it VERY well. I was 6 and “La Dernière Séance”, presented by Eddy Mitchell, was on with “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” by Jack Arnold. At the time, it was an incredible movie. The TV magazines for the week gave away free 3D glasses for the occasion. For a 6 years old boy, it was magical! About «Welcome to my nightmare»... “Welcome to my nightmare” started on my way back from the International Market Festival in Cannes in 2005. I watched Lucio Fulci‘s “Zombies Flesh eaters” on DVD. It’s a very violent movie, which had been censored by the Giscard government in 1979. I had seen it in VHS format (that’s what I call a solitary pleasure) but I discovered its true potential. What a movie! I realised at last that underneath the B movie was hiding a jewel of Italian horror cinema, superbly shot and completely free in its direction. Free because it was bloody, of course, but also because it was very graphical and even sometimes erotic. I started thinking that my own work was, in comparison, vulgar and of bad quality. I wanted to do horror movies that did have a touch of vulgarity and irreverence, but I wanted them to look good. They needed to look good, to feel good, and to have great colours. I wanted to do something that would be bloody and dreamlike. I had a look at the work of Lucio Fulci, whose films I studied with passion. They were B movies, certainly, but still so well crafted, so violent and sexy, especially those shot between 1966 and 1981. This was the type of film I wanted to produce. I talked about this project to the team, who was sceptical at first and then rallied to the idea. The movie was shot in the house of Thomas Laporte’s parents, the property man and assistant director. It was a big house, very comfortable and also very camera friendly. The whole team felt as if on holiday. I asked my girlfriend, Aurélie Godefroy to play the lead. It felt weird to be the only bloke around all these women: I felt like David Emmings in Antonioni’s “Blow-Up”. The storyline comes from one of my obsessions: a young woman, called Alice, who is bullied by those around her, sinks into a coma after having killed her boyfriend using telekinetic powers. Still in a comatose state, she’s making the four girls who made her life a misery share her nightmares. This is the reason of course for the title, which is also the title of an LP by Alice Cooper. When I talked earlier about outlets, here is one of mine: I have always felt a bit of a freak, apart from the rest. Alice is a bit of a screen representation of that. Even if, all things said, she’s not really often on screen, I do identify myself with her. I hope that after this revelation you’re not going to find me weird! Your projects ? First of all I need to sell “Welcome to my nightmare”. After this I’ll try my hand at directing a police drama, dark and complex, written and produced by Jean Mach, a young man full of enthusiasm. The title is “Mens insana in corpore sano”. This should give me a break from horror movies... although… maybe my natural inclination will be too hard to resist! I did promise that not one zombie would cross the frame. We have already started working on this project. It is my first “real” project, with a proper budget, so I don’t need to say how much I am looking forward to it!



« MONOLOGUE » Sasa Lazic INTERVIEW of the illustrator Meyoko


MONOLOGUE How did you become a photographer? I was interested in photography for quite some time but never got around to buy a decent camera, all those compacts could not deliver one thing I like the most, bokeh. Then, I bought myself a «real» camera and started clicking. My bio as an amateur photographer is very short. I’m self taught through reading, observation, trial and error. I try to capture the mood rather than concentrating on technical aspect and of course most of my images must have some sort of blur involved. Why square format? And Black and White? I like square format because of obvious compositions, and B&W tends to add to the mood I’m trying to capture. I never used it myself but if I had to choose a camera, it would definitely be Hasselblad with Flexbody, because the blur on medium format just kills me. Your projects? Wishes for the future? At the moment my only and biggest project is my daughter, born on January the 7th, 2009. Otherwise saving money for that 5DMkII, and as far as taking pictures goes, I’m trying to learn more about artificial lighting.


INTERVIEW Where do you get your inspiration? I have so many sources for inspiring me but mainly it is nature and human feelings and the old civilizations. Only Black and White... I think the Black and White reflects the best my background, my feelings and how I feel most of the time in this world. Your background? My background is a melancolic world of fantasy where the horrible side of this life is transformed in a wonderful landscape where peace finds an important place. How do you create? I like when the drawing take the form of a wonderful universe, where the human and nature live in respect in a world bathed in an atmosphere of love but in my drawings you also find tragedy like the invention of the atomic bomb and so many other human disasters. Future projects... Publish the pop up books, video animations and exhibitions, right now I squarely refuse all the exhibitions because I know that I am not ready for something like this and I would like my first exhibition to be perfect following my style and respecting all what I have imagined.



« MODERN TOKYO » Skorj INTERVIEW of the illustrator Cityabyss

S K` O R J

MODERN TOKYO You work on Polaroid films... Working with a medium format Polaroid camera allows me to take photographs and to receive the additional benefit of the instant film. I use two types of Polaroid film; Type-667 (ISO3000) and Type-665 (ISO80). Each exposure of Polaroid Type-665 makes a positive print and a high definition negative. I use the enlarged negative to produce some of the photographs in this collection, and instead of taking the positive away with me, I give the positive print to the people I have photographed. This makes a complete photographic circle -as each participates first as a subject, then as a spectator of the photograph as well. I am fascinated by the calm of abandoned buildings and the vast expanse of Modern Tokio, to feel the history and to imagine the lives and the functions these spaces fulfilled. Like the people who once used them, they have a history, and with my photographs I try and capture more than the image, but also the feelings of the abandoned spaces and diversity of Tokyo –dream, the feeling of loneliness, solitude and decay. Polaroid film allows me to add more than the image, but to also include some of the feelings of these diverse and interesting places as well. For me, photography is successful when it can promote the ordinary to something special, eliciting emotion, and perhaps if it is indiscriminated in time and place too. Polaroid no longer makes Type-667 or Type-665, so these photographs are a collection of not only the instant memories of their subjects, but also a memory of Polaroid’s unique films. How did you become a photographer and why do you choose Black & White? My father was a stock & nightclub photographer, so I have always been exposed to photography and photograph production at home -slides, lightmeters, cameras. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of making art from a little metal box. B&W is the only technical limitation of the Polaroid films, though there are color versions available too, they have a lack of definition and versatility of being able to make a positive and a negative from the same exposure. Additionally, I find compositions in B&W easier with simple light and dark. Do you have current projects? I am slowly working on the Modern Tokyo series, building it up over a number of years to the point where I run out of film, and have enough strong work to perhaps go to a publisher with a book concept. The usual photographer dream...

Amongst the photographers who made it to the final of’s monthly challenges, Plateform is inviting Elaine Vallet AND SĂŠbastien Le Gallo is a site about photographic expression. It enables amateur photographers to express themselves on given themes. Every week, the captain of the site sets up a photographic challenge. Members participate by entering a maximum of 5 photos. These photos are then submitted to the review, evaluation and commentaries of peers from the community. These exchanges of views allow members to progress and share a common passion: photography. tries to show, via these challenges or via forums or interviews, that amateur photographers have talent too. The page dedicated to virtual exhibitions presents the best photographers from the site.

« Paris » SÉBASTIEN LE GALLO © (Theme : Your city in photo)

« Evolution » ELAINE VALLET © (Theme : Transparency)


INTERVIEW Why did you become an illustrator? I won’t say anything original but I always drew as a child. There was no other alternative but to be true to myself. My education was based on the traditional art such as painting, drawing, and graphics. These are my mediums. After my graduation, I started making illustrations, as I didn’t have a printmaking studio. I have always been into traditional techniques but at the same time I wanted to do something new. Where do you get your inspiration from? Building sites, machinery, modern architectural vision of a city, which makes impression of unapproachable often crushing and overwhelming. Fashion, stylization, photography are the other sources of my inspirations. I take most of it from 40’ and 50’ and mix it with modernity, to stress what used to be in the past and is nowadays. What is your process of creation? My images and ideas are transcribed quickly in sketch form. I spend most of my time trying to recapture the initial energy of the original sketch. I have my own library of images, I collect them to take my inspirations from it. They are mostly fashion photography and stylist works. Cityabyss... Subjective, symbolic vision of a world, in which human being feels lost, combined with machine or austere buildings and constructions, which seem more and more distant from nature. Plans for the future.... To have achieved all of my goals….



« TRIPTYQUES » Tom Spianti INTERVIEW of the illustrator Samantha Zaza


TRIPTYQUES You are giving us your vision of women through your triptychs The women I work with are for me fantastic examples of what femininity is about nowadays. They have great strength of character, they invent alternative lives and characters for themselves. They are very independent women, their aspirations and stories never completely assailable. It is a kind of female dandyism that fascinates me and which I want to show. What I am interested in is this conquest of a new femininity that young women today invent and reinvent ceaselessly. I never quite know what outfit I will find them in when I meet them. They have a taste for the paradoxical, linked to their ever changing desires. It is not being provocative in a showing off way; it is rather an intimate behavior. They have multiple personas, as if they were suffering from some sort of delicious schizophrenia which is a consequence of being a modern woman. It is a constant movement between woman and child, between demure and artfully sexy. And me I try to capture the most contradictory moments of this reality, from the Sunday’s pyjamas to the most hybrid of outfit via the handbag, the washing up or the fishnet stockings. As for the triptych format, I must confess that it is them who impose this tri-focal vision. It is their very nature, both carnivalesque and whimsical, that is the reason for this fragmented output. Not knowing whether they are women, children playing or Lolitas, they imply this multiplicity of angles and visions. Spontaneity It is what happens at the instant of the photographic exchange. The circumstances of our meetings are hazardous. I never know beforehand whether the meeting is going to work. I give them total freedom of movement and action. I like them to interact with the objects around them and the place they are in. I only talk to them and try to get to know one another. When something does happen, it is as if they were inviting me into their own personal world, their dreams and games. I only follow their emotional ramblings. But in fact, there is no real spontaneity. There is instead a theatre play without either real actors or spectators and without even a script. We don’t really know what it is, but we kind of get the idea of the reason why it is performed. What is your approach toward photography? Photography is a tool for knowledge. It is a mysterious way, a kind of X ray thingy, to enable us to see further than the realms of action and necessity. What I always realize also is that photography not only reveals but also creates a new reality which, until then, remained hidden because no one was looking at it. There is always a desire to see and learn between both actors of the photographic process; photography invents and simultaneously reveals the moment. This is possible because at the origin of the photographic act is a meeting. It is this meeting photography is about, to allow the other to say whatever he can. This is the name of the game, to enable the possible to become real. What I particularly like is to listen to and photograph these women who create new, out of the box situations, amongst their own world of objects and inventions, this kind of intimate parallel world few people do step in, after all.


INTERVIEW How did you start drawing? I’ve been drawing ever since I picked up a pencil. As a child, I’d sit for hours in my room drawing and colouring all sorts of things, especially animals. I can remember the experience of working on specific drawings -how hard I concentrated on capturing every wrinkle of an elephant’s skin when I was eleven, trying to copy a Toulouse Lautrec poster when I was eight. I still love him! Where do you find your inspiration? I find a lot of inspiration in my surroundings. My favourite thing to do is watching people in cafés, on the street, or on subways and try to draw them. I love History too, moving to Istanbul has been a wonderful source of inspiration -there is so much to learn and see, historically and culturally. I like to use India ink, pencils and gouache for my drawings. I’m getting back into oils again for bigger works. For you, drawing represents... It’s hard to say what drawing is to me, it feels like breathing. I draw to let my thoughts go, to capture the life that I see and live, and most of all, I draw for fun. If a day passes by without drawing, I feel like something is missing. Then I grab a pen and my sketchbook. Could you tell me more about the «Moleskine exchange»? The International Moleskine Exchange is a fun collaborative project founded by illustrator Marty Harris to connect artists around the world through art. The Exchange is run by Marty and organised through the Flickr group, Moly-X. Artists who wish to participate become a member of Moly-X by visiting the group’s Flickr page, then they begin contacting artists with whom they would like to exchange Moleskines with. Moleskine is a wonderful brand of sketchbooks and journals that has one book in particular that lends itself well to the project: the Japanese folding Moleskine -a nine feet long piece of paper folded like an accordian into 60 pages. Once an artist has gotten other people interested in joining them, an exchange group is formed. The group gets a blog and each artist buys their own Moleskine sketchbook. After each artist has a book, they have a month to draw, paint or collage a piece of art on the first three or so pages. Then a rotation plan is set up, and the artists swap sketchbooks in the rotation order. The next artist has one month to draw in the book that was sent to them, then they send it off to the next artist and so on. Once the books are filled, they are sent back their original owners, and everyone gets a beautiful nine feet of art that has been all over the world. At the moment, we have 68 exchanges going with artists on six continents. Moly-X has been a wonderful experience for me, I’ve formed friendships with many of my fellow artists, learned about different cultures and improved on my drawing skills. To learn more about us, please visit us on Flickr: Your projects... I’m currently involved in eight Moleskine exchanges and I just started working on a series of large oil paintings based on memories, but we’ll see how it goes. I might change my mind and go in a different direction if something inspires me to do so. I’ve been sketching life around Istanbul and would like to build a series of larger drawings off my sketches.



« READY-MADE POETRY » Jean-Marie Le Brestec INTERVIEW du filmmaker Ugo Nonis


READY-MADE POETRY How did this serie start? Many things started it. Describing particulars is a difficult thing to do, all the more as the series is still growing, both in form and in concept. I do have to admit though that the main drive behind it was purely materialistic: I won a competition and I used the prize money to clear out the stock of Polaroid films from a local dealer. Concept wise, this series is about the fear of losing one’s memory. I am really bad at remembering things. While abroad on a business trip, I felt the need to freeze, to protect my memories, the lessons I had learnt the steps I had been through. I also realized how difficult it is to create images that can touch people, that can bear a message or make the viewer react, while still being easy to understand and beautiful to look at. Maybe this double constraint is the result of our being drowned in images and of each and every one of us having become apprentice photographers, apprentice reporters and apprentice designers, but also professional critics. Faced with these facts, I realized I had an alternative: either I capitulated in front of the difficulties inherent to the exercise and gave up photography altogether to become a simple spectator, or I could carry on, even if I had to actually write the message I wanted to pass across. This series was then born out of a challenge between my abilities and my passion for the visual image. Where do these words/phrases come from? They kind of impose themselves on me. I might hear them or read them, extract them from discussions, songs or movies, but in the end it is the words themselves that stick. Each one of these cards matches an important moment, it is the witness of a frame of mind, a desire to remember, to fight forgetfulness and sometimes it is only a kind of joke. There is at least one predetermined element in every image. It can be the text, the background, or both. I nevertheless leave room for randomness and I don’t go anywhere without my Polaroid folder. To this day, I’d say that 20% of my portfolio consists of pre designed shots, and that the 80% remaining are chance images, the result of an association between luck and random words or places. Any project? I am working on the second version of this serie. It will be the result of a remote dialogue between a hundred or so participants, my camera and some sort of manipulation of chance. The images will be co-created: the participants in charge of the concept, chance in charge of the visual form and myself as the director. I take advantage of this interview to encourage people to take part by emailing me on Participation is free and anonymous and will result, I hope, in an exhibition at some point in the future.


INTERVIEW Once upon a time on 08/08/08... It all started when I was sitting in Union Square waiting to see Pineapple Express. My friend Brian and I were talking when I saw a penny rolling on the ground, I picked it up and at the moment The Penny Project Idea came to me. I want to write, direct a movie based on the 12 months I spent as a exchange student in Chicago in the early 90’s. The Penny Project idea is to exchange a penny for a donation to produce the Movie «Frenchie». for each donation I take a picture and post it on with a written comment. A story of you as a teenager... I am going to tell you my first French kiss story: I was in Spain on holiday at the age of 8. I really liked this older woman (she was 11 or 12) and she liked me too. She asked me if I wanted to go out with her, I replied yes and asked her where she wanted to go. She then told me what going out with someone meant, the kissing, the hand holding and stuff. Since I never french kissed a girl, she had to give me a crash course before she would let me kiss her. She was really good at explaining what had to be done : turn your head, open your mouth, turn you tongue counter-clock wise. After a minute of practice in my head I went in for the real thing and boy let me tell you it was weird but I liked it A LOT. For the next 3 weeks all I did was kissing her. It was a great start and hopefully it made me a good kisser but you would have to ask my girlfriend for that. Thousands of pennys??? So far I have more than 200 donors and pictures, and a total of : $1737.76, €678, £18.43, NZ$1 and 100 Yuan, 10 Reals. It’s a good start, but I am always thinking about ways to make it better. I created a Penny Project Facebook group : The Penny Project: help Ugo Nonis make his movie «Frenchy» become a reality. You should all join of course. I created a Twitter account : where you can follow my progress. Tomorrow, you would like... Find a way to reach more people and expend on the Penny Project Concept, Produce and direct the movie, meet lots of great people on the way. Learn how to cook one dish. The Penny Project is now part of who I am, I hope that somehow my idea will develop into something bigger than I can image right now. Do you have current projects? I’m trying to document the south (in the USA) with the last of my Kodachrome 25. I’m also still making new polaroids, and I’m just beginning to explore my new home of Dallas, Texas. It’s a challenging city to photograph, I think.

digital print studio

Printing dedicated to picture portfolio & exhibition prints prints on silver mounting and fine art 1st sketch prints lamination on every mounting



« TYPO GRAPHIK » Frédéric Desmots INTERVIEW of the stringed instrument maker Charles Coquet


TYPO GRAPHIK Why did you choose photography? I am a freelance graphic designer and illustrator ( I use photography as a basis. Photographic creation isn’t as exciting as illustration to me, so I put a lot of myself into it along with the advent of the digital era. Photographic aesthetics is really interesting but I always use Photoshop to make alterations. What does inspire you? My sources of inspiration are very varied: the surrounding nature, my friends, my family, daily life stuff. Generally speaking, I crop the initial picture to get a certain atmosphere, an emphasis or move the subject off center to isolate it and make it peculiar or surprising. The initial atmosphere instinctively directs me to use Black and White or color, then I use textures to parasite the image.  Any current project? Nothing for the moment.



Photos by Louise Imagine / Laurence Guenoun ©

How did your passion for musical instruments start? In another life I was an amateur violinist. How to remain in this musical universe? By picking up a lute making kit and hoping I could pull it off. I discovered and fell in love with this job and here I am. Working with wood means? - Being very very exacting with oneself - A way of life Which stages do you prefer in the creation of an instrument? How can I prefer one stage to another? I start with the head, whose convolutions are more of a sculptor’s job. It is still as fascinating now to witness this spiral taking shape within the wood as it was ten years ago. The most important stage in terms of musical qualities is the creation of the roundness of the body, but I would also need to talk about the varnishing, which is a layer that both protects the wood and makes the whole instrument more desirable. How do you think about an instrument ? I think about it holistically, as a coherent and whole object, while always trying to perfect it. Your dream : To be on the Portrait page in Libération. 165 rue Belliard, 75018 Paris. Tél :

Have participated to this issue : laurence guenoun - Publication director / AD carine lautier - Editor in chief candice nguyen - Communication & Advertising +33 689 921 043 sophie l. cuvE - AD / Graphic designer florian hegi - Graphic designer assistant mathieu drouet - Webmaster eric battistelli - Journalist christophe dillinger - Translation vanessa coquelle - Translation vincent benhartt - Translation MATHIEU DROUET © - Photo cover Thanks for their help and support to : RAPHAËL DEVREKER WWW.LESPHOTOGRAPHES.COM BENOIT MARCHAL WWW.DECLENCHEUR.COM STÉPHANE PIANACCI CATHERINE JEAN vÉronique de launay

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