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"Early sunday morning" - Part Four

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"Early Sunday morning" This series comes from a photographic journal that I keep every day in Montreal between April 2010 and june 2012. It was to learn to shoot by making a poetics of the city and distance, my work at night at the casualty department - I'm male nurse - allowing me to spend part of my life to this work. From the beginning we lived in Mile End, migratory crossroads where come and go French Canadians and English, Portuguese and Greeks, Italians, Polish and a large population of Orthodox Jews, a district sandwiched between Park Avenue and St Lawrence Boulevard, between the plate and Little Italy, a few blocks to the contours with the boundary of two black lines in the snow: A railroad track and passing trains of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The America that once I started to photograph belonged to a landscape dreamed that I had discovered as a child in front of the television and in the dark of a movie theater, the kids from here made me think of my distant childhood in Aveyron, seasons mingled with my memories, snow and whiteness with cold winters of Aubrac, a clear "boralde" to the eddy of St Lawrence. It therefore would appear to be my mind that, over time, I photographed in the streets but also the memories to come of children who grow up. I liked the morning to find myself in a calm, feel the rain or the heat of the first rays of the sun, and I liked to leave the casualty department, impregnated with the smell and mood of the others, photographing the silence, the snow and his dancing, watching the well-oiled rhythm of a crowd which moves off, night work has the virtue to make swim against the current. From splitted days to pale nights, the trip became wandering, those that Depardon described in his book "eponymous", real drunken onlooker on the boulevards of Montreal. Geographical representation of a limited space, this diary is also, and perhaps most importantly, a window overlooking the interior on which the viewer will put his forehead to look at himself, because a picture is never that a mirror which reflects our history. The title of the series "Early Sunday morning" is borrowed from Edward Hopper, who painted this painting in 1930, preserved today at the Whitney Museum in New York. I authorized myself this borrowing first because I recognize myself in the way Hopper watched a city and more generally our civilization, but also because Sunday I think is a particularly day, a silence in time, a little death. Photography requires attention and it took me staring Montreal to build this series. "Early Sunday morning" is also the testimony of the changing nature of the city, like our face will become hollow over the years, the city constantly changes, dies and is reborn. From the movement of atoms, "hopeless fragility of the city", I tried to extract two years, here also a silence in time, here also a small death.
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  •                                   Tôt un dimanche matin (Part four)

    It is now a little less than a year since I left Montreal. I often think about it. I remember the streets, detachment and imagination of its people, the sensations experienced by creating this photographic diary, magnified by the passing of time...

    For two years, I photographed Montreal tirelessly. I wanted to make a poetic of the city and distance, an American walk. Photographing the street requires to detach yourself a time. The moment before we were all together, caught in the powerful and heady flow of a city moving, the next moment I was taking a walk on the side to tear myself away from the crowd...
    I worked at night in the ER of a big hospital.
    For two years I lived in the Mile End, a cosmopolitan neighborhood with my wife and our two daughters. Few blocks nestled between Park Avenue and St. Laurent Boulevard. North, two black lines in the snow where succeeded the trains of the Canadian Pacific Railway, South, the narrow streets of the plateau.
    This America finally merged with my childhood dream when I imagined, in the darkness of the cinema, what it could be living beyond the ocean. Kids out there made me think of those populating my childhood in France.
    It is therefore a bit of my own memory that over time I photographed in the streets, a spectator of the rhythm now well oiled of a world shaking. Photographs of a space defined this diary is also a window on the inside, through which everyone can draw a memory of its own history.
    Today the sharpest sensations that remain in my memory, are probably the ones I felt during early winter mornings, when was ending my night job. I left the hospital, impregnated with the smell and the mood of others, the icy cold outside had killed any perfume. I remember the empty and white boulevards, and a snow falling gently, silently.
    I loved photographing these moments.
    It is a strange thing to discover a country, a city, working at night in the ER, I feel that way this can not be a lie, we are closer to our weaknesses.
    Night work has this virtue: It allows us to swim against the current.
    The title of this series “Early Sunday morning” is borrowed from Edward Hopper painted this painting in 1930 preserved today at the Whitney Museum in New York. I authorized this loan first because Hopper touches me, but also because Sunday is a day to my peculiar sense, a silence in the measurement, a little death .
    “Early Sunday morning” is also the testimony of the changing nature of the city that constantly
    changes, dies and is reborn. Of the movement of atoms, fragility of the city, I extracted two years.
    Silence in the measurement. Again, a little death.

     

  •                                                                            Edition # 3
                                                        Format 21 x 23,5 cm
                                                                  112 pages       
                                                                  85 Images     
                                                 Couverture cartonnée pelliculée mat
                                                    Imprimé sur couché satiné 170 g
                                                                   25 euros

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                                                      C O P Y R I G H T   ©   2 0 1 3   JULIEN COQUENTIN
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