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STEP-BACH

"Residence". The word immediately appealed to me. The profession of photographer requires a curiosity and a will to discover that the media urgency rarely leaves the time to appreciate. On the contrary, in this word, I heard the promise of a time, an immersion and a discovery, what an opportunity! It is with this in mind that I immersed myself in Forbach. 

The only constraint imposed by the project's sponsors was to work on the idea of borders. Naturally, Forbach is only separated from Germany by an imaginary and arbitrary line that does not hinder us in our movements. Rather than working on this delimitation, which in the end no longer makes much sense today, I preferred to focus on the fracture that separates the inhabitants from their own city. 

Far be it from me to draw an "objective" portrait of the commune, assuming that this word has any meaning at all. My comment is purely subjective and the fruit of this immersion is only a fragmented vision of a city whose center appeared to me deserted whose various "peripheral" districts bubble up with an energy which seems abundant but scattered, erratic.

After three weeks on site, I had to take some distance to direct my gaze to the right place, to digest what I had seen there, from the Wiesberg to the Bruch, from Bellevue to the Trou: life, envy, but a city center where kebab shops, opticians and pharmacies follow one another and which, in the end, has very few places to meet and socialize. 

Through each of these images, I wanted to put the inhabitants back in the heart of their city, as if to reincorporate them and give life back to this town with its glorious mining past, which has gradually withered away as the face of the economy has changed.  This is the Forbach I experienced, neither more nor less, neither true nor false, entirely subjective and staged.

 

This work is the restitution of an artistic residency completed during spring of 2019, conducted with the pupils of Pierre Adt middle school.