“We experiment different feelings when a photograph reveals, by showing its subject, a familiar strangeness. Those feelings drive the familiar into the oddly disturbing. Because of that discrepancy, that shift, that senses’ disorder, what we thought for a long time was familiar changes and becomes blurry. Our perception flickers and what we thought was real doesn’t seem so real anymore : the illusion of tranquility. With his 4×5 large format camera, an almost forgotten mechanism, François Deladerrière records the object’s rest, that state of immobility and fixity in which the question of function rises. Bodies have been through those places to rest and they left a mark behind but now, they’re gone. We only see what’s left of them, an after that is laying in a science fiction time with no rules. We blindlessly try to decrypt the enigma, we look in our memory to recreate what was there before those leftovers. François investigates the episodes of a working and organic world. The erasure has begun, the abstract relics of industrialisation are burning under the quiet covering of a time that seep. There is some shadows, some darkness in those pictures which are still full of details, in highdefinition thanks to the lens’ qualities but that’s not enough to explain how things work. The precision is not enough to bring up the motionless, mysteriously laconic confusion of Deladerrière’s places. The shadow that hides things under its thickness and its humidity shows just how thick was the air that had to be teared apart to make those scenes appear. Surrounded by centrifugal framings, those staged settings are waiting to be colored so they can go back to the real world. One color overlooks the silence of those places, it increases the feeling that the scene was paused, it orders its own temporality and disconnects our point of reference. François Deladerrière shorts at twilight, just before the last show happens, just before the oversight occurs”.
Jacques Damez January, 2009
I would like to produce images that don’t add themselves to other images, photographs that retain, that resist, that would keep someone’s interest. I don’t take many pictures. I walk, I drive, I seek. I like to get my equipment ready in the same way an illustrator would sharpen his pencils before getting to work. I put my films in their chassis, it’s important for me to expose analog film. It’s not only about quality or even about the result, it’s about the image in the box, there, latent. I use a large format camera. Using that camera is like a ritual. You have to put that voluminous camera on a tripod. Having to take time for technical aspects slows the moment of the shot down so the observation moment is slower too.
I like to think about the stories of the places I’m photographing. I’m looking for the memories of the stories in the landscape. I, or rather something, stops me when I recognize something in the landscape. It can be an object, architecture, a shape. Most of the time, it’s something that was left behind and that no one usually cares about. I am drawn and touched by those decayed shapes – a dead tree, a ruined house, a closed factory, a bunker, a wrecked car in the darkest depths of a garden. All those objects carry a story with them, a depth, a singular strangeness. I shoot those shapes frontally, the frame must be forgotten so the focus is on what’s being photographed.
A photography is successful when what I choose to represent becomes a sculpture, a “readymade” just by calling it that through photography. To do so, I photograph without thinking about a unity of place or subject. The images gathered up in a series take an unexpected meaning thanks to their complete autonomy and their juxtaposition. By photographing ordinary things in the landscape, I want to see them being transformed into silent mysteries. My photographs are almost made into a square. I want them to be like blocks, like rocks that you would pile up to create a seawall.
I would also like those photographs to be like blocks of time, time that would stretch out again and again
until giving the impression that it stopped.
I fight with color – I like when there is not much of it. That’s why I often shoot at twilight. I like the first and the last glimmers of the day. I like the excitement and the urgency of having to work in this quick moment, after waiting for a very long time.
My first motivation is not geographical, even though I would like for each image to be related to documentary since my work focuses on the idea of landscape and territory. Secondly, my photographs are not autobiographical even if they are the consequence of a singular way of looking at the world. Finally, my work is not just a research for what’s aesthetically pleasing, because to choose the pictures that I’m keeping and then that I’ll be showing, those three aspects have to be there. And those are the ideas I keep in mind when I take a picture.