Photographer Spotlight: Jéremie Dru

Jéremie Dru is a 28 year old French photographer, living in Paris. I asked him a few questions about his work, and this is what he said…

What do you shoot with?

I have a Mamiya RZ67 – it is a medium format film camera. Originally, it was a camera that we used for studio shooting, but it is also very effective for street photography. It’s an analog camera (120 film) which offers a good quality of image.

How long have you been taking photographs?

I began taking photos when I was studying architecture, in 2005-2006. The camera helped me to build my view of the city, and understand the role of the architecture in the set which constitutes the city. It allowed me to stage the urban spaces at which I looked, at which I studied. I learned how to look at the architecture, at the material, at the relation at the light…

What inspires you the most?

I’m inspired by literature, by cinema, photography, comic strips, paintings and sculptures. What affects me most are the works which question the perception of our environment, the artists who question what we consider to be real, who use the concrete to show the unspeakable.

I read many books which try to strengthen research in astrophysics, which touch the quantum physics. This research eventually highlights that the laws which structure the universe are not quite perceptible with our senses, so we have a vision limited by our environment. It is difficult for us to conceive that on the scale of the universe, the space and the time can contract, dilate, even bend…

What’s your favourite thing to take photos of?

Photography allows the capture of mouldable space-time. We can go against the will of the photographer to capture faithfully the reality by splitting up the seized spaces and the not inevitably linear times of exposure on a single photography. The photography becomes then the artistic technique, doubtless most to evoke these scientific theories which upset the perception of our environment.

To reveal imperceptible places, to merge spaces in the same portion of time, becomes then a game. The photography does not try to represent the reality any more, but the possible. I do not try to represent the various urban sequences, but the transition between these spaces, the passage from a place to an other one. I try to photograph the state of the traveler, and the way which has the city to exist through the journey, through our movement in the street.

If you couldn’t take photos, what would you do instead?

I have always wanted to make video, a more complex medium because we do not produce a motionless work. It is a medium which requires a lot of time and investment.

What are you plans for the future?

I plan to travel through Germany to photograph the various urban landscapes, return to the Ruhr and work with the industrial megastructures. I would like to continue my research on the urban journey by working in other urban landscapes than Paris.

In parallel, I pursue my work as architect-artist within the collective gvng, which I established with 3 friends. We try to make the architectural discipline approachable, by representing it by different artistic mediums (photos, video, drawing, images) and by working on the collective architecture.

What is it that you enjoy about photography?

It is the possibility of capturing a portion of reality – whether it is a scene, a place, somebody, a moment – and to fix it in time. What is interesting about analog photography is the printing of the photo on a physical and real support: the film. Unlike digital photography, the photograph is printed on a material and existing support. It gives it a more authentic character. When I look at my films, it’s as if the photos that I took were real. The various layers  of reality which I captured are inseparable, and live together on the negative.

What motivates you?

It is the creativity around the representation of the city. Cities are the track of our civilisation on a territory. It is the representation of our society and our different systems. I like making and seeing images which celebrate this city, which puts it in movement, which question it.

You can find more of Jéremie’s work on his website.

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